What is this technique about
In the expert panel, experts selected specifically for the panel share useful information based on their experience and can evaluate an idea from an objective point of view.
Where does it come from
Professionals who are experts in their fields help people who have no or little previous experience to improve their skills by sharing knowledge.
For which purposes it is used (why in your engineering teaching)
The expert panel is very useful for engineering students, as experts from the business world share their ideas, experiences and opinions that are more practical than theory.
As Beecham et. al., (2005) reports, an expert panel helps predict critical issues in the engineering processes, raises the quality of accuracy of the analysis involved, and also, such a human-centered approach “outperforms simple function point models” (p. 5).
How to use it
The event begins with the invitation and participation of the selected experts to the panel. In addition to evaluating the ideas presented, they also contribute to how they can be made more useful. The guidance of a moderator is needed during the expert panel process.
With the introduction of Covid 19 into our lives, we now include online expert panels in online meetings,. For this method, it is sufficient to have an online video conferencing tool.
How to implement this techniques online
Preparation, what do before the session
- Make sure to have made the necessary planning before the session. Choosing and inviting the relevant expert or a team of experts for the session is significant. Create a list of questions that you want to ask the experts and plan the facilitation.
- Inform the expert(s) about the problem/topic and allow them sufficient time to think on the issue(s) ahead of the session.
- Make sure to provide your students with specific criteria or questions with which they could evaluate the ideas presented by the experts. This could make the interaction between the experts and your students more effective.
- If the session is online, make sure that your expert(s) and students both have access to the same online collaboration platform (such as Teams or Zoom). Set up the meeting link and send it in advance to all participants.
During application, i.e., while giving the session
- Introduce the experts and the topic to your students. Also keep in mind there some of your students may not have read your emails about the session, therefore a short introduction could be helpful to all.
- Remind your students of the criteria for evaluation of ideas.
- Facilitate the session. Make sure that all experts get the same amount of time to talk, stimulate discussion amongst them. Then Invite students to join in (you can also ask students to raise questions In the chat)
- Make sure that the session is recorded and documented for further use and evaluation.
Follow-up, about what to do after the session
- Discuss the insights and/or new ideas with the class. Try to help your students find out to what extent the experts managed to offer useful, objective, and specific evaluation of ideas.
An online video conference tool- such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.
Method description on becreate.ch: https://www.becreate.ch/en/methods?tx_mxnbecreate_pi1%5Baction%5D=show&tx_mxnbecreate_pi1%5Bactivity%5D=94&tx_mxnbecreate_pi1%5Bcontroller%5D=Activity&cHash=7c8d31498bc9487541c64d8fd9d8daf5&L=1
Dalal, S., Khodyakov, D., Srinivasan, R., Straus, S., Adams, J. (2011). ExpertLens: A system for eliciting opinions from a large pool of non-collocated experts with diverse knowledge. In: Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Volume 78, Issue 8, Pages 1426-1444. Online at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2011.03.021
Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/
Microsoft Teams: https://www.microsoft.com/en/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software/
Beecham, S., Hall, T., Britton, C., Cottee, M., Rainer, A. (2005). Using an expert panel to validate a requirements process improvement model. In: Journal of Systems and Software, 76(3), 251-275p.