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Impact Of A Fifty Minute Experiential Team Building Program On Design Team Performance

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Teaching Industrial Engineers Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.625.1 - 7.625.9



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Paper Authors

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Larry Dunn

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Jessica Matson

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Kenneth Hunter

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

Main Menu Session 2257

Impact of a Fifty-Minute Experiential Team-Building Program On Design Team Performance

Kenneth W. Hunter, Sr., Jessica O. Matson, Larry R. Dunn Tennessee Technological University


Team-building programs that utilize experiential learning have been proven effective and their use is becoming widespread in industry. Programs can range in length from several hours to several days, and those that incorporate periodic follow-up activities have been shown more effective. However, most engineering courses are so packed with technical content that it is difficult to find time to incorporate experiential learning programs as part of teamwork instruction. This paper describes an experiential team-building program that can be presented in a single fifty-minute class period and applied in classes with large enrollments. A summary of the program objectives, activities, and facilitation guidelines is included. The paper also presents the results of a study involving over 300 freshmen engineering students on 42 design teams. The study addressed the question: Does the addition of a fifty-minute experiential team-building program significantly improve course outcomes as defined by student knowledge of teamwork, student attitudes about teamwork, and project quality? Pre- and post-project surveys and project grades were used to assess the impact of the program.

1. Introduction

As the practice of the profession of engineering changes, so does the education of new engineers. Over the past twenty-five years, engineering design education has evolved with the addition of many new topics, including:

· powerful computer-aided engineering tools for design and analysis; · the concepts of concurrent engineering, sustainable engineering, life-cycle engineering, and accessibility; and · a diverse array of topics that relate to the context and environment in which design is practiced, such as global and societal issues, project management, and teamwork.

The pedagogy of design education has likewise evolved with the integration of design throughout the curriculum and increased emphasis on capstone design courses and team design projects.

The current ABET Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs requires that graduates possess a wide range of knowledge and abilities, including “an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.”1 Most undergraduate engineering programs utilize team design projects as a means of demonstrating compliance with this criterion, and some programs also include formal instruction in teamwork issues.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Dunn, L., & Matson, J., & Hunter, K. (2002, June), Impact Of A Fifty Minute Experiential Team Building Program On Design Team Performance Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10401

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