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Development Of A Team Interaction Observation Protocol And A Self Efficacy Survey Using Social Cognitive Theory As A Framework

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Fostering and Assessing Effective Teaming

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.415.1 - 13.415.15



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Paper Authors


Senay Purzer

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Senay Yasar-Purzer is a Ph.D. candidate in Science Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Arizona State University (ASU). She currently works as a graduate research associate in the Communication in Science Inquiry Project, an NSF-funded teacher professional development program. She earned her master’s degree in Science Education at ASU. She has a BS degree in Physics Education and is currently pursuing another B.S.E degree with a concentration in mechanical systems. In 2007, she received the Dean’s Excellence award in graduate research from the Mary Lou Fulton School of Education. Her creative research focuses on team learning and the role of self-efficacy on student achievement.

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Dale Baker Arizona State University

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Dale R. Baker is a Professor of Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and
Instruction at Arizona State University and was the Co-Editor of The Journal of Research in
Science Teaching. She teaches courses in science curricula, teaching and learning, and
assessment courses with an emphasis on constructivist theory and issues of equity. Her research
focuses on issues of gender, science, and science teaching. She has won two awards for her
research in these areas. She was elected a fellow of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science in 2004.

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Chell Roberts Arizona State University

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Chell A. Roberts is an associate professor and Director of Engineering at Arizona State
University Polytechnic. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
from Virginia Tech in 1991. He has a MS in Industrial Engineering and a BA in Mathematics
from the University of Utah. He is a member of the board of directors for the Society for
Computer Simulation International and has been actively involved in developing undergraduate
engineering design curriculum.
© American Society for Engineering Education, 2007

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Stephen Krause Arizona State University

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Stephen J. Krause is Professor in the School of Materials in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. His teaching responsibilities are in the areas of bridging engineering and education, design and selection of materials, general materials engineering, polymer science, and characterization of materials. His research interests are in innovative education in engineering and K-12 engineering outreach. He has co-developed a Materials Concept Inventory for assessing fundamental knowledge of students in introductory materials engineering classes. Most recently, he has been working on Project Pathways, an NSF supported Math Science Partnership, in developing modules for a course on Connecting Mathematics with Physics and Chemistry and also a course on Engineering Capstone Design.

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

Development of a Team Interaction Observation Protocol and a Self-Efficacy Survey Using Social Cognitive Theory as a Framework


In this paper, we present the development of two instruments designed to determine what student team interactions relate to self-efficacy and achievement. The social-cognitive theory constitutes the theoretical framework for the development of the instruments. Seven first-year engineering student teams participated in this study. Students took the self-efficacy survey and were video and audio-recorded during a semester. The first instrument created was a survey that measures engineering self-efficacy. Construct validity of this survey was established by correlating it with students’ achievement scores. The internal consistency of the self-efficacy survey is 0.9. The content validity of both instruments was established by a comprehensive literature review and feedback from a panel of experts. The second instrument is an observation protocol designed to capture team oral discourses that occur when solving engineering design problems. Thirty-five discourse moves were established through an iterative process of code development and refinement. These moves were grouped under six discourse categories: task-oriented, response- oriented, learning-oriented, support-oriented, challenge-oriented, and disruptive. The results show that achievement and gain in self-efficacy are significantly correlated. There is also a positive correlation between support-orientated discourse and post self-efficacy scores. Negative correlations are observed between disruptive discourse behaviors and post self-efficacy scores. Discussion includes recommendations for engineering educators on how to help teams build supportive environments and what to look for when evaluating student team interactions.


Teamwork is a common practice in engineering. Likewise, engaging students to work in collaborative teams to solve design problems is a common practice in engineering schools. A close examination of the team interactions of first-year engineering students was the main focus of this study. Designing an observation protocol to assess complex team dynamics would help with future research in engineering education aiming to study team processes. Using a mixed- methods approach, we identified team discourse characteristics that were correlated with student self-efficacy and achievement.

In the literature, team processes have been studied using diverse methods and tools such as peer evaluation surveys1 and verbal protocols 20, 22. Our study builds on these previous studies and contributes to teaching and research in engineering education in two ways: Firstly, it combines the survey, observation, and discourse analysis methods to establish a valid and reliable understanding of student team interactions. Secondly, the data for this study, collected through video and audio recordings, were obtained in a real first-year engineering classroom setting allowing us with an authentic view of student dynamics. The instruments designed in this study can be used for both research and instructional purposes.

From a research perspective, the team observation protocol can be used to explore a key variable in team settings: communication. Before investigating diverse learning processes that occur in

Purzer, S., & Baker, D., & Roberts, C., & Krause, S. (2008, June), Development Of A Team Interaction Observation Protocol And A Self Efficacy Survey Using Social Cognitive Theory As A Framework Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3203

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