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Association between personality traits diversity in teams and their performance in a semi-virtual learning environment

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2021 First-Year Engineering Experience



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August 9, 2021

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August 9, 2021

End Date

August 21, 2021

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Jutshi Agarwal University of Cincinnati

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I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at the University of Cincinnati. My research focus is on preparing future faculty and providing graduate students with teaching training for a career in academia. I also have research interests in team effectiveness, team forming using soft computing tools, second natural language learning related to programming, learning styles and outreach for K-12. Currently, I am the Lead Graduate Teaching Assistant for the first year engineering design course with an enrollment of 1400 students across all engineering majors.

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Cedrick Kwuimy University of Cincinnati Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Kwuimy is currently Assistant Professor - Educator in the Department of Engineering Education - CEAS at the University of Cincinnati. His has a background in the area of applied nonlinear dynamics and applied physics. Prior to joining the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Kwuimy was Research Fellow at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in South Africa and then worked for over 4 years on ONR funded research projects focus on the development nonlinear dynamics approaches for the detection of faults in bearing and gear systems at the Villanova Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems (VCADS) in PA. He graduated from the University of Yaounde 1 in Cameroon and then completed a Certificate in Teaching Engineering in Higher Education at Villanova University.

Dr. Kwuimy is interested in vibration analysis and in the use of nonlinear dynamics tools to improve the early detection of fault in complex nonlinear systems. In the latest, his focus is on engineering systems (gear systems, bearings) and biological systems (vibration in human-arm, human diseases). In vibration analysis, his focus is on the conversion of mechanical vibration into electrical energy (energy harvesting). A key interest of Dr. Kwuimy is the development of active tools/methods to foster and enhance the learning experience for undergraduate students and, scale down cutting edge research challenges into undergraduate topics discussions.

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Teamwork skills is an essential component of engineering professional skills. Engineering colleges rely on projects to develop students' teamwork skills. Traditionally, this is done in an in-person setting where students hold meetings, discussion, and design activities related to their projects. In this context of traditional in-person learning environment, data has suggested an association between some personality traits and team performance; and between specific learning styles and team performance. It is unclear how this is affected in a semi-virtual environment. Moreover, the extent to which diversity in team-members personality type and learning style is associated with their team performance, in a semi-virtual learning environment, is in need of exploration.

The 2020-2021 cohort of first-year engineering students has inaugurated a new era in higher education. This era holds unprecedented effects and COVID-19 related uncertainties, setbacks and challenges for students and colleges. Several colleges have opted for a semi-virtual learning environment in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. This paper is situated in the context of a semi-virtual team-based first-year engineering course in a Midwestern Research 1 institution.

Our research question is formulated as follows: To what extent does diversity in learning style and personality type in a team associate with their team dynamics in a semi-virtual learning environment? To answer this question we administered to students a Qualtrics survey designed to collect data for students profiles in personality type and learning style. We used the BigFive Personality types: Open vs. closed to experience, Conscientiousness vs. casual, Extroverted vs. introverted, Agreeableness vs. disagreeableness, Neurotic vs. stable; and the VARK (Visual, Aural, Reading/Writing, Kinesthetic) questionnaire for the learning style. These instruments have evidence of reliability and have been used with US engineering students. Peer–evaluation data and team effectiveness as the dependent variables are used to assess team dynamics.

Agarwal, J., & Kwuimy, C. (2021, August), Association between personality traits diversity in teams and their performance in a semi-virtual learning environment Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual .

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