Example No. 5: Karl Smith, Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota
I use two types of formal teams in my upper division civil engineering classes (project management and economics, and civil engineering systems): Task teams and Base teams.
- During the first class period I random distribute students to four-person teams. This sends the message that teams will be used during the course, and helps students get to know one another (students typically come from several departments).
- During the second or third class I ask students to complete a team membership preference card. Several students (up to ¼ of the class) don't express preferences or list the students in their randomly formed team. I then form four-member teams; honoring their preferences (I usually put up to two people who expressed preferences together, and their put two pairs together). This is their base team and first task team.
- I change task team membership one-to-two more times during the semester but the base team membership remains the same.