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How Competent are Freshman Engineering Students in Constructively Rating Their Peers in a Team Context?

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

First-year Programs Division: Collection

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First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Benjamin Emery Mertz Arizona State University

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Dr. Benjamin Mertz received his Ph. D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2005. He is currently a part of a lecturer team at Arizona State University that focuses on the first-year engineering experience, including developing and teaching the Introduction to Engineering course. He also teaches Thermo-Fluids and High Speed Aerodynamics for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at ASU. His interests include student pathways and motivations into engineering and developing lab-based curriculum. Recently, he has developed an interest in non-traditional modes of content delivery including online classes and flipped classrooms.

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Daniel M. Ferguson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Daniel M. Ferguson is CATME Managing Director and a research associate at Purdue University. Prior to coming to Purdue he was Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ohio Northern University. Before assuming that position he was Associate Director of the Inter-Professional Studies Program [IPRO] and Senior Lecturer at Illinois Institute of Technology and involved in research in service learning, assessment processes and interventions aimed at improving learning objective attainment. Prior to his University assignments he was the Founder and CEO of The EDI Group, Ltd. and The EDI Group Canada, Ltd, independent professional services companies specializing in B2B electronic commerce and electronic data interchange. The EDI Group companies conducted syndicated market research, offered educational seminars and conferences and published The Journal of Electronic Commerce. He was also a Vice President at the First National Bank of Chicago [now J.P. Morgan Chase], where he founded and managed the bank’s market leading professional Cash Management Consulting Group, initiated the bank’s non-credit service product management organization and profit center profitability programs and was instrumental in the breakthrough EDI/EFT payment system implemented by General Motors. Dr. Ferguson is a graduate of Notre Dame, Stanford and Purdue Universities, a special edition editor of the Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship and a member of Tau Beta Pi.

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Mohd Iramul Hoque CATME

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In this evidence-based practice paper, we will be investigating how well freshman engineering students are able to constructively rate their peers in a team context and interventions that may help them improve their rating abilities. Teamwork is a skill that has been integrated into many different courses in a variety of different academic disciplines in response to the demand for these skills in industry. One way to improve teamwork is through peer evaluation of an individual’s contribution to the team’s work. This feedback allows students to improve their own performance while providing them with an opportunity to practice an important professional skill. This feedback is also importance to promoting positive team behaviors and creating better team experiences.

A web-based tool called CATME (Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness) was used to assist students in giving feedback to their teammates in a first-year Introduction to Engineering Course during the Fall 2017 semester. Four sections (of approximately 40 students) were uses at the intervention group and 3 sections were used as the control group. In this study, the students were given the opportunity to do three peer evaluations of their teammates throughout the semester. A control group was asked to complete the evaluations without any additional rater training. The intervention group was provided two different interventive trainings. Frame of reference (FOR) training was provided before the first peer evaluation at the beginning of the semester to orient the students in the intervention group to the dimensions of teamwork that the CATME model uses to evaluate teamwork performance. The FOR training also instructed students on the rating scale that they were to use during their ratings. The second intervention occurred before the second peer evaluation was a rater error training (RET). In the RET, the consequences of different negative rating patterns were discussed and the importance of giving good ratings was re-emphasized. There was not intervention performed before the final peer evaluation in order to evaluate the longevity (if any) of the effects of the trainings. This paper is meant to address how much freshman engineering students’ peer evaluation ratings of themselves and their teammates vary. We then want to evaluate how specific interventions change the rating patterns of students in their peer evaluations. The results will be compared to the results from peer institutions found in literature as well as extend to studying the cumulative effect of using multiple different kinds of interventions throughout the semester.

Mertz, B. E., & Ferguson, D. M., & Hoque, M. I. (2018, June), How Competent are Freshman Engineering Students in Constructively Rating Their Peers in a Team Context? Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30577

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