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Assessing Reflective Judgment Thinking In Undergraduate Multidisciplinary Teams

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.272.1 - 12.272.12



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Paper Authors

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Michael Cama Illinois Institute of Technology

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Daniel Ferguson Illinois Institute of Technology

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Margaret Huyck Illinois Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Assessing Reflective Judgment Thinking in Undergraduate Multidisciplinary Teams

Abstract – Our University has a project-based interprofessional learning program (IPRO) designed to improve competencies in project management, teamwork, communications, and ethics among the undergraduate students. An emerging goal is to increase the level of “reflective judgment thinking” among the IPRO students, indicating that they can deal effectively with complex, ambiguous, not clearly-structured problems. All undergraduate students are required to participate in two, 3 credit hour, IPRO projects; most do so during their junior and senior years. Every semester 35-40 teams are established, each with 7-15 students. The foci of projects vary, including service-learning, entrepreneurial (ENPRO), product development and others. All projects include unstructured problems. In order to ultimately increase reflective thinking in the student body, we have included a reflections process in a sample of the interprofessional teams that include service- learning and entrepreneurial teams. A reflections pilot with 11 of our 33 project teams was conducted during the fall 2005 and spring 2006 semesters and examination of the spring 2006 data revealed that our students in the pilot did not exhibit high levels of reflective thinking. We evaluated reflective thinking by rating responses to reflective questions from students that participated in the pilot. Responses were categorized into 4 levels of reflective thinking based on the Reflective Judgment Model7. In the fall 2006 semester, we again ran a reflections pilot that included redesigned questions that we expected to elicit more reflective answers to the problems that students face in the project. We collected demographic data from students compared the level of reflective thinking by school year. Juniors in our sample exhibited the greatest level of reflective judgment. We also examined if the changes made to the questions in fall 2006 versus spring 2006 generate more reflective thinking. We found our changes did not generate more reflective judgment as hoped. Finally, we compared service-learning teams and non service-learning teams in terms of reflective and found there were no significant differences between the two types of teams.


Our university has a program that emphasizes the development of effective teamwork skills called the Interprofessional Projects Program (IPRO). IPRO is an open-ended project-based course through which all undergraduate students are expected to develop competencies in multidisciplinary teamwork, communication, project management and problem solving skills, and ethical issues.

All undergraduate students at our university are required to participate in at least two IPRO projects. Each semester we offer 35-40 team projects, with 7-15 students and one (or more) faculty supervisors. The projects vary, including service- learning, international, and entrepreneurial experiences. IPRO projects that include entrepreneurial experiences are referred to as EnPROs. The majority of students are enrolled in engineering or science programs, with significant numbers of architecture students, and smaller numbers of liberal arts, psychology, and business students. Teams are expected to

Cama, M., & Ferguson, D., & Huyck, M. (2007, June), Assessing Reflective Judgment Thinking In Undergraduate Multidisciplinary Teams Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2431

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