June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.300.1 - 10.300.11
Characteristics of Good Teams
Richard Bannerot Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Houston
The performance of forty-two teams and various characteristics of the 159 students on those teams have been evaluated in four sophomore design classes over a two-year period. The individual characteristics monitored were: gender, ethnicity, age, work experience, academic prowess, personality indicators, team citizenship and interest. Surprisingly, there was only weak or no correlation between team performance and the average individual characteristics of its members. For example, the average age of the members of the poorly performing teams was exactly the same (22.4 years) as that for the better performing teams. The same was true for work experience, personality type, academic performance, gender, and ethnicity. These and additional results related to the mix of the characteristics within the teams are presented in this paper. A related, informal survey of the students indicated that team effectiveness was much more dependent on such “external” and practical factors as success in establishing meeting times.
Working in teams is becoming more and more common in engineering as well as in other work environments. At last year’s ASEE Annual Conference a paper  reported on the characteristics of a “good (individual) team player.” The data were based on a horizontal study of two engineering design courses, one at the sophomore level and the other at the senior level. The individual performances of 214 students working on 57 projects during the 2002-3 academic year were evaluated. Individual demographic, academic, personality, and personal data, as well as interest and skill levels, were gathered from the four classes. The conclusions reached are listed below: The better team players tended to be older with more work and more engineering related work experience. The better team players tended to have better drawing abilities and were better self-critics of their own drawing abilities. Factors appearing to have little influence were personality type, gender, and high school and college grade point averages. The expressed motivation for the course or for working in teams and interest in the project seemed to have little influence on ones own performance on the team. Issues related the ethnicity and SAT scores were discussed, but no conclusions were presented.
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference &Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Bannerot, R. (2005, June), Characteristics Of Good Teams Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14359
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