Masters' Voices project
evolved from Ford Motor Company's interest in retaining and utilizing
the expert knowledge of its senior automobile design engineers, even
after they have retired from the company. The research hypothesis
of the project was that the unique craft knowledge accumulated by
these veteran engineers could be captured and made available in useful
ways to younger, less experienced engineers, resulting in the prevention
of design mistakes that could lead to costly automobile recalls.
MIT created a desktop learning environment for Ford engineers, building upon the software shell that was developed for the Physics Interactive Video Tutor (PIVoT). MIT interviewed six senior Ford brake system engineers to elicit their expertise in the form of anecdotes and war stories which had not been documented previously. The interviews were videotaped, digitized, and edited, then integrated with text, graphics, and other content into an Oracle database. The project team produced a fully functioning prototype web site focusing on braking systems.
This project was funded through the Ford-MIT Collaboration. The Principal Investigator was Prof. Richard Larson, Director of the Center for Advanced Educational Services. The Project Manager was Laura Koller. The technical developers were Philip Bailey and Kirky DeLong, members of the CECI research staff. The Ford sponsor was Roscoe Nash, retired Dean of the Ford Design Institute.