Asee peer logo

Go Team! The Role of the Study Group in Academic Success

Download Paper |

Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

New Engineering Educators Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

26.822.1 - 26.822.14

DOI

10.18260/p.24159

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24159

Download Count

96

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Denise Wilson University of Washington

visit author page

Denise Wilson is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research interests in engineering education focus on the role of self-efficacy, belonging, and other non-cognitive aspects of the student experience on engagement, success, and persistence.

visit author page

biography

Cheryl Allendoerfer University of Washington

visit author page

Dr. Allendoerfer is a Research Scientist in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington.

visit author page

biography

Rebecca A. Bates Minnesota State University, Mankato

visit author page

Rebecca A. Bates received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington in 2004. She also received the M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1993. She is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Integrated Engineering program at Minnesota State University, Mankato, home of the Iron Range and Twin Cities Engineering programs.

visit author page

biography

Tamara Floyd Smith Tuskegee University

visit author page

Dr. Tamara Floyd Smith is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Tuskegee University.

visit author page

biography

Melani I. Plett Seattle Pacific University

visit author page

Prof. Melani Plett is a Professor in Electrical Engineering at Seattle Pacific University. She has over seventeen years of experience in teaching a variety of engineering undergraduate students (freshman through senior) and has participated in several engineering education research projects, with a focus how faculty can best facilitate student learning.

visit author page

biography

Nanette M. Veilleux Simmons College

visit author page

Nanette Veilleux is a Professor and Director of the Computer Science and Informatics Program at Simmons College, Boston, MA. Her research interests include pedagogy in STEM disciplines, particularly with respect to women students and computational linguistics where she investigates the use of intonation in human speech.

visit author page

biography

Mee Joo Kim University of Washington

visit author page

MJ Kim is a Ph.D. student in Educational Leadership, Policy & Organizations Studies (Higher Education) at the University of Washington College of Education. She has been involved in a 5-institution, 5-year, NSF-funded project that investigated to understand the impact of belonging and other connections to community on academic engagement for undergraduates in science, math, and engineering (STEM). Broad range of activities related to the research questions at hand included data collection (surveys, interviews, focus groups, and classroom observations), analysis of the data(quantitative, qualitative, and mixed), assessment and revision of research design, data presentation, and supervising undergraduates who are involved in the research team. Her current research interest is in assessing institutional strategies to embrace global consciousness among undergraduate students majoring in STEM disciplines.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Go Team! The Role of the Study Group in Academic SuccessABET ensures that every undergraduate engineering student is active in teams (either formed byfaculty or self-assembled) for both short and long term projects. Full benefits of teamwork,however, are not always realized in these formal project teams. In fact, it is not uncommon forour engineering students to complete work individually and then force fit the pieces together thenight before a deadline. Yet, all is not lost. Some formal project teams work extremely well,providing educational benefit that could never be realized by students working alone. However,those teams that students form outside the classroom, whether with the help of a faculty memberor without, can be just as important as those organized in the classroom or formal academiccontext.In this paper, we look at the communities and groups where engineering students work and learnoutside the classroom, ranging from study groups to design project teams to professional societycommunities. Among four diverse institutions, we evaluate which academic communities,groups, or teams students participate in and when asked, which they tend to speak about morethan others. We also probe more deeply into how and why the most effective teams or groupswork for students.In a mixed methods approach, our quantitative (survey) data first show which academiccommunities students participate in and how active they are in these communities. Ourqualitative data (interviews and focus groups) then explain how the most influential communitieswork for students. Our results show that while students reported participating at various levels,ranging from minimally to very active, in a broad range of academic groups available throughtheir home departments and colleges, they most often chose to discuss their experiences in studygroups (83%) or lab groups (82%). Of these students, most (87%) found benefit in participatingin these lab and study groups. Furthermore, a majority of the students (72%) felt that theybenefitted in ways related to operating within the group as an integral part of the team, stressingthe potential of the team to succeed in problem solving and other activities much moreeffectively than a single individual working alone.The fact that most students, without prompting, reflected on the benefits of working incommunities with respect to their academic lives outside of the classroom reaffirms that evenintrovert-dominated fields like engineering tend to seek and gain significant benefits fromteamwork. However, these results must be interpreted with caution because it is the teams thatevolve by student self-selection processes over time that most often provide these benefits, whilesuccess in assigned teams may not be as prevalent. Thus, educators may benefit from observingand examining the informal, self-assembled working teams students create in order to modify theway they organize, assign, diagnose, and support more formal project teams within courses andclassroom.

Wilson, D., & Allendoerfer, C., & Bates, R. A., & Smith, T. F., & Plett, M. I., & Veilleux, N. M., & Kim, M. J. (2015, June), Go Team! The Role of the Study Group in Academic Success Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24159

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015