July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
This evidence-based practice paper investigates students’ perceptions of and discourse surrounding their team roles on a multidisciplinary project-based learning (PBL) team and if/how those views and enactments change over time. This study also examines how designated student leaders’ self-perceptions of their team role compare to their peers’ assessment of their leadership. Analysis of the study’s perception and discourse data will consider participants’ discipline, gender, ethnicity/race, and academic year. From this, we aim to understand how leadership on PBL student teams is established, enacted, and evolves over time, and what factors may influence such development.
While many engineering education programs have first-year cornerstone and final-year capstone project experiences, the middle years tend to lack similar multidisciplinary and long-term team project experiences. The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program at a large urban university encompasses teams of students – from various academic years and disciplines – who are advised by faculty to engage on long-term and large-scale projects. The VIP Model is aimed directly at engaging students during the middle years of engineering education and maintaining their engagement on a project of their choice for at least 3 consecutive semesters, honing technical and professional skills. The VIP Model is an evidence-based approach for multidisciplinary project-based learning that is active at 40 institutions around the world. Long-term student engagement affords each VIP Team the time and space to develop an organizational structure. Over this extended period of time, students also have the opportunity to establish, enact, and change leadership roles. This study focuses on the subset of VIP Teams categorized as Design Competition VIP Teams. These VIP Teams participate in annual intercollegiate competitions that are hosted by, sponsored by, and/or affiliated with professional organizations or societies (e.g., SAE, NASA, ASCE). These VIP Teams are generally the largest teams that have formal team roles and student leadership structures (in contrast to VIP Teams with faculty-guided leadership).
BelbinⓇ defined (and provided discourse examples of) a team role as a particular behavioral preference while performing tasks with other team members, distinguishing it from a functional role (the operational knowledge and technical skills relevant to performing a task). This distinction allows for the possibility that a group may be composed of several team members with the same functional role and different team role(s). This study employs the BelbinⓇ Team Role Self-Perception Inventory (TRSPI), the Observers’ Assessment Sheets (OAS), and discourse analysis of video-recorded Design Competition VIP Team meetings at several time points to investigate students’ perceptions and enactments of their and their peers’ designated and explicit team role(s) and how these may change over time. Comparing collected survey and discourse data over time to participants’ demographic survey data will make possible a greater understanding of how these perceptions and discourse vary with respect to discipline, academic year, race/ethnicity, and gender. The goal of this study is to understand how students develop and enact their team roles, how peers view designated leaders' team roles, and whether these observations are related to demographic and academic backgrounds.
Dunford, A., & Medina, E. A., & Bringardner, J. (2021, July), Investigating Team Roles Within Long-Term Project-Based Learning Experiences Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37401
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