San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Software Engineering Constituent Committee
25.106.1 - 25.106.11
A Study of Individual Learning in Software Engineering Team ProjectsA large scale experiment to determine if improved team cognition leads to improved individuallearning has been designed. Specifically, the goal of this research is to determine if working onan effective team benefits or impedes a student’s learning of the course content. The literatureappears to focus on team performance, team outcomes, and benefits of teams by combiningindividual resources; but does not focus on the benefits of the individuals on the team, where abenefit could be learning for example.Clearly, an individual’s cognitive activities when on a team are influenced both positively andnegatively by social factors. This could be due to the cognitive diversity of the individual teammembers not being managed or the many social factors that may influence an individual’scognitive processes. Social factors may include social loafing (doing less work because youbelieve others on the team will be doing it) or social facilitation (the mere presence of others caneither enhance or impede individual performance . But again, these factors appear to bebenefiting or impeding the team not the individual.Previously, we studied the effect of the cognitive collaborative model (CCM) on facilitating teamcognition, and the degree of team cognition that is needed to improve team outcomes. Wedetermined the CCM in fact increases team performance via mental model convergence  andreduces the effects of cognitive diversity . To further extend this research, in this experiment,we studied how improving team cognition effects individual learning.The CCM is a six-stage cognitive model that takes into consideration the cognitive and socialactivities that occur during collaborative problem solving by facilitating problem formulation,solution planning, and system design tasks during collaboration. The CCM model prescribestactics to ensure collaboration. Using pre and post testing, we studied course outcomes ofsoftware engineering graduate students learning software systems design that have also utilizedthe CCM in a systems design project. We hypothesized that the students who utilized the CCMfor their system design project will have a significantly higher course outcome. 1. J.M. Levine, L.V. Resnick, and E.T. Higgins. (1993) Social foundations of cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 44, January 1993, pp. 585-612. 2. DeFranco, J.F., Neill, C.J., Clariana, R.B. (2011). A Cognitive Collaborative Model To Improve Performance in Engineering Teams – A Study of Team Outcomes and Mental Model Sharing, Systems Engineering Journal, 14 (3). 3. DeFranco, J.F., Neill, C.J., “Problem-Solving Style and its Impact on Engineering Team Effectiveness”, CSER (Conference on Systems Engineering Research) 2011.
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