Active/Collaborative Learning Student Teams Integrating Technology Effectively Women and Minorities Assessment and Evaluation EC2000 Emerging Technology Foundation Coalition Curricula Concept Inventories
Forming Student Engineering Teams
Example No. 3:Russ Pimmel, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alabama
  • I use teams for a four- or five-week design project in a senior-level course for CompE, CS and EE majors.
  • I form teams of three or four on the basis of a survey of preferred meeting times (MWF, TR, SS -- morning, afternoon, evening) and grades in prerequisite courses. I assign teams so that they haveĀ·
    • at least two common preferred work times,
    • heterogeneous capabilities, as indicated by prerequisite grades, and
    • a mix of majors
  • Since this is a senior-level course, I don't consider gender and ethnicity.
  • I give a brief training session on teaming, including ideas for effective teamwork.
  • On a weekly basis, team members individually and confidentially assess the team's progress, activity level, and effectiveness using a three-value scale (adequate, almost adequate, inadequate). They also report any special problems and any "slackers".
  • I briefly meet with teams with problems and talk to the slackers.
  • At the end of the project:
    • I grade group project reports and individual quizzes
    • Each student evaluates teammates and reports the percent of total effort for each. (Using "effort" allows subjective accommodations.)
    • I "average" peer data to get an individual effort score
    • I use the effort scores to compute individual report grades from the group grade and a team quiz grade from the individual grades. I then average individual and team grades for each student

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References Cited

  1. Katzenbach, J.R., and Smith, D.K., 1992. Wisdom of Teams: Boston (Harvard Business School Press).
  2. Dipinto, V.M., and Turner, S.V., 1997. Students and teacher as co-conspirators in learning. Current Iss. Mid. Level Ed., 6:29-39.
  3. Feichtner, S.B., and Davis, E.A., 1984-85. Why Some Groups Fail: A Survey of Students' Experiences with Learning Groups. Organizat. Behav. Teaching Rev., 9:58-71.
  4. Brickell, J.L., Porter, D.B., Reynolds, M.F., and Cosgrave, R.D., 1994. Assigning students to groups for engineering design projects: A comparison of five methods. J. Engr. Ed., 7:259-262.
  5. Davis, B.G., 1993. Tools for Teaching: San Francisco (Jossey-Bass).
  6. Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T., and Smith, K.A., 1991. Cooperative Learning: Increasing College Faculty Instructional Productivity. ASHE-FRIC Higher Ed. Rpt. 4. George Washington U.
  7. Felder, R.M., and Brent, R., 1994. Cooperative Learning in Technical Courses: Procedures, Pitfalls, and Payoffs. ERIC Doc. Reprod. Serv. Rpt. ED 377038.
  8. Brower, ??[Jeff: Need more info here]
  9. Kanter, E.M., 1977. Some effects of proportions on group life: skewed sex ratios and responses in token women. Am. J. Sociol., 82:965-990.
  10. Allmandinger, J., and Hackman, J.R., 1995. The More the Better? Social Forces, 74:423-460.
  11. Cohen, L.L., and Swin, J.K., 1995. The Differential Impact of Gender Ratios on Women and Men: Tokenism, Self-Confidence, and Expectations. Personality Social Psych. Bull., 21:876-884.
  12. Steele, C.M., 1997. A Threat in the Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance. Am. Psychologist, 52:613-629.
  13. Haag, S.G., 2000. Teaming Backlash: Reframing Female Engineering Students. Proceed., 2000 ASEE Conf.
  14. Kautman et. al., 2000. Accounting for Individual Effort in Cooperative Learning Teams. J. Engineering Ed. 89:133-140

References for Further Information

  1. Bouton, C., and Garth R. (Eds.), 1983. Learning in Groups: San Francisco (Jossey-Bass).
  2. Bruffee, K., 1995. Sharing our Toys: Cooperative Learning versus Collaborative Learning. Change.
  3. Cohen, E., 1972. Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom: New York (Teacher's College Press).
  4. Cooper, J., et al., 1990. Cooperative Learning and College Instruction: Effective Use of Student Learning Teams.
  5. Fisher, K., Rayner, S., and Belgard, W., 1995. Tips for Teams: A Ready Reference for Solving Common Team Problems.
  6. Johnson, D.W., and Johnson, F.P., 2000. Joining Together: Group Theory and Group Skills (7th ed.): Boston (Allyn and Bacon).
  7. Scholtes, P.R., et al., 1988. The Team Handbook: How to Use Teams to Improve Quality: (Joiner Assoc.).
  8. Smith, K.A. 2000. Project management and teamwork. New York: McGraw-Hill BEST series.

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