In light of the rapid development of distance education, the distributed project teams that consist of both distance and on-campus students are becoming increasingly popular in many engineering design courses. This study examines different types of distributed design teams in terms of their collective ideation effectiveness. Depending on the distribution scale, various design teams can be classified into three types: collocated, partially distributed, and fully distributed teams. Furthermore, depending on the distribution distance, the distributed teams can be further categorized into “far” and “near” distributed teams. In this study, we evaluate and compare the ideation effectiveness of 24 team design in terms of the metrics of quantity, variety, quality and novelty. The results indicate that, compared to the fully distributed teams, both collocated and partially distributed teams demonstrate better ideation performance but in different metrics. The “far” distributed teams have a significantly better performance than the “near” distributed teams in terms of variety.

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