Summary: Corie L. Cobb et al. 3
product development teams, using a project-based learning approach [7,8], to step through
the new product development process in detail, learning about the available tools and
techniques to execute each process step along the way. Students depart the semester with
an understanding of new product development processes as well as useful tools, techniques
and organizational structures that support new product development practice.
Although the course focuses on the application of these principles to new product
development, they are more broadly applicable to innovation in general of products,
services, organizations, business strategies and governmental policies. Our project based-
learning approach sensitizes students to the key issues of new product development in a
global market, with the goal of developing "flat world" skills through peer learning and the
development of shared understanding of "flat world" issues. In short, we expose students
to the knowledge they need to work effectively in multidisciplinary high performing teams.
Our graduate course is unusual in the extent to which it accommodates a balanced
representation of both faculty and students from across the business, engineering,
information science, and industrial design disciplines.
We recently completed a longitudinal study of the impact of the course content on and
development of "twenty-first century" skills by students who have graduated from our
course and are pursuing careers in industry . In Fall 2006, teams of engineering,
information science and engineering graduate students conducted 21 in-depth interviews