St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.269.1 - 5.269.10
Engineering Project Team Training System (EPTTS) For Effective Engineering Team Management Patricia F. Mead, Marjorieanne Natishan, Linda Schmidt, James Greenberg, David Bigio, Arpita Gupte BESTEAMS Mini-Teaching Center A. James Clark School of Engineering University of Maryland, College Park
Abstract The BESTEAMS: Building Engineering Student Team Effectiveness and Management Systems Mini-Teaching Center has implemented a pilot, in-class, workshop highlighting the influence of learning style preferences on project team management. The workshop has over three semesters been presented to over 400 engineering students at the University of Maryland, The Catholic University of America and Morgan State University. The students ranged from Freshman undergraduates, to first year graduate level students. The workshop includes a learning style assessment using the Kolb model and outlines the challenges to team management related to learning and communication style diversity. Following the learning style assessment, a short discussion on approaches to learning and communication within the context of team based assignments is facilitated, and responses of Divergers, Assimilators, Convergers and Accommodators are summarized.
The results show that of 283 students tested during the Fall 1999 semester, Divergers represent 9.5% of the students tested, Assimilators represent 41%, Convergers represent 35.7% and Accommodators represent 13.8%. Most students reported an expected benefit to having learning style diversity within a team, expressing a perception that learning style diversity would aid in the development of robust solutions to team assignments. When questioned about the impact of learning style diversity on team management, the students expressed an expectation that compromise would be needed (particularly in view of the learning style differences). However, many students also found it difficult to relate the information on their own learning style preference to effective team management skills. The feedback has been used to modify future EPTTS workshops.
Overall, the workshop successfully frames the discussion of peer diversity toward the topic of learning style preference, and deflects attention from traditional stereotypes such as gender or ethnic background. The workshop is also successful in educating students about style differences in engineering approach and encourages tolerance among team members. However, the ability to transfer successful strategies for team management may require regular reinforcement from the faculty advisor.
Gupte, A., & Mead, P. F., & Natishan, M., & Greenberg, J., & Bigio, D., & Schmidt, L. (2000, June), Engineering Project Team Training System (Eptts) For Effective Engineering Team Management Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8350
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