Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
In the Rowan University Department of Biomedical Engineering, we offer a yearlong, team-based longitudinal Biomedical Engineering design course involving junior and senior students, and have recently implemented a Team Leader model for the design teams. The efficacy and benefits of the Team Leader model have been described previously by others. Our Team Leader program involves class meetings that serve as a two-way channel for information exchange, and leaders are responsible for presenting weekly updates to the instructors and their team leader peers. Although we are firm believers in the power of peer pressure for performance enhancement, we were surprised to observe that an apparent peer-induced competition has accelerated progress in the design teams. We were not surprised to see the straggling teams improve based on knowledge of their team’s progress relative to the other teams, but we observed a universal push toward project acceleration based on this apparent competition. Leaders who perceived their team as lagging behind another team’s progress in any capacity have redoubled their efforts to catch up and surpass the other teams. To determine whether this “competition effect” is real or merely a perception by the instructors, we have administered a survey of team leaders. Amongst various other questions, we asked team leaders to identify motivators for success, progress accelerators, detractions from progress, benefits of the team leader model, and perception of their team’s progress relative to the other teams. This preliminary study will codify and analyze the leaders’ responses to ascertain a better understanding of the Leader-observed role of peer-induced competition in progress acceleration. Future work will include a more formal assessment of these effects.
Staehle, M., & Brewer, E. (2018, June), Board 28: Work in Progress: Peer-Induced Competition Among Design Teams - Do Weekly Updates Among Leaders Accelerate Progress? Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29998
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