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Engineering Students And Training In Teamwork: How Effective?

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Student Teams and Active Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.506.1 - 8.506.13



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Paper Authors

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Janet Schmidt

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David Bigio

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Linda Schmidt

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Paige Smith

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

Session 1430

Engineering Students and Training in Teamwork: How Effective?

Linda Schmidt, Janet Schmidt University of Maryland Carol Colbeck Pennsylvania State University David Bigio, Paige Smith, and Lee Harper University of Maryland


The motivating principle of the BESTEAMS (Building Engineering Student Team Effectiveness and Management Systems) project is to create a modular student team training program that can be integrated into any existing engineering undergraduate curriculum. Funded by a three-year NSF-Course, Curriculum, Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant, the BESTEAMS curriculum is comprehensive and developmental, offering three levels of instruction (introductory, intermediate, advanced) in three key areas of team functioning (personal awareness, interpersonal dynamics, and project management).

The purpose of this paper is to describe the results of student evaluation of the introductory level curriculum that has been introduced into the Clark School of Engineering's - Introduction to Engineering Design course (ENES 100). Students completed three team work modules presented by faculty trained in the module delivery during the 2001-2002 academic year. The first Introductory module related to personal effectiveness and increasing self awareness. Using the widely recognized Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI), the module shows students how knowing their own preferred learning style can give them insight into themselves as well as their teammates' view of educational and team tasks (N = 379 students). The second Introductory module (interpersonal dynamics) addressed basic communication issues including giving and receiving feedback, typical stages of team development, and brainstorming activities (N = 125 students). The final module on project management, covered personal time management in the context of team projects and included project definition, scoping and the creation of Gantt charts (N = 144 students).

1. The BESTEAMS Project: Modules for Team Training

BESTEAMS stands for Building Engineering Student Team Effectiveness and Management Systems. In addition to the University of Maryland, the current BESTEAMS partners include: Howard University, Morgan State University, and The United States Naval Academy (USNA). The diversity of partners is deliberate: one goal of BESTEAMS is to create a team curriculum that is appropriate in a wide range of different engineering schools, ranging from the historically Black to a military context, from public to private institutions, for men and women of all nationalities. The ultimate goal is to be a catalyst for a professional engineering environment that is welcoming and comfortable for all people.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Schmidt, J., & Bigio, D., & Schmidt, L., & Smith, P. (2003, June), Engineering Students And Training In Teamwork: How Effective? Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12452

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