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Differentiated Team Training In A Multidisciplinary Engineering Projects Course

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Conference

2004 Annual Conference

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

9.461.1 - 9.461.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/12929

Download Count

27

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Paper Authors

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Vijay Rajappa

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Steve Watkins

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Ray Luechtefeld

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

Session number 2004-1340

Differentiated Team Training in a Multidisciplinary Engineering Projects Course

Dr. Ray Luechtefeld, Dr. Steve E. Watkins, Vijay Rajappa University of Missouri-Rolla

Abstract

The ability to function effectively in teams is an important contributor to career success in engineering. Unfortunately, specific training designed to improve team effectiveness is not often incorporated into engineering education. Even when such training is provided, the absence of clear comparisons makes it difficult to evaluate effectiveness. Providing two kinds of team training to two groups of students in an engineering projects course allows comparisons between different methods.

Utilizing this approach, two types of team training were offered to senior-level and graduate engineering students in an elective projects course at the University of Missouri – Rolla. The effects of conventional training in handling communication and team dynamics were compared with the effects of Action Science-based training in voicing inquiries and perspectives. Both quantitative and qualitative data were used to evaluate the two approaches to training.

Introduction

The ability to successfully work in teams is a crucial ingredient for success in the workplace 1. Unfortunately it is often a neglected part of an engineer’s education. The ability to function effectively in a team is even a requirement for accreditation, as stated in ABET’s 2003-2004 General Criteria: Engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have…an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams (I.3.d). However, while engineering students are generally given a great deal of direction and instruction in the technical aspects of their work, they are often thrown into teams without ample guidance to lead them through the complexities of team dynamics. These experiences often do not prepare students for the obstacles that multidisciplinary teams meet in industry, research and academia. Good team skills are not learned merely by placing students in teams 2. The technical problems faced by engineering graduates are complex and often require collaborative effort. Engineers interact in the workplace with technical peers in other disciplines at all stages of design, development, and application. Hence, engineering work is increasingly oriented toward boundary-crossing, multi-disciplinary team activity. The potential and need to improve engineering training and education regarding team soft skills such as team dynamics

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Rajappa, V., & Watkins, S., & Luechtefeld, R. (2004, June), Differentiated Team Training In A Multidisciplinary Engineering Projects Course Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/12929

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