April 9, 2022
April 9, 2022
April 9, 2022
Motivation and Impact of Diverse Student Teams in Graduate Projects
In many industries, project teams are comprised of people with differing educational backgrounds, work experience, and cultural backgrounds. To better prepare students for these environments, instructors may simulate similar environments in courses through student team projects. A graduate course at YYY University on sustainability in a STEM program includes lectures, short assignments, tests, and a semester-long project. The project typically includes gap identification and problem statement, ideation, search for alternatives, representation of design alternatives, safety and risk analyses, proposed design solution, cost-benefit analyses of design, and sustainability analyses. This project is completed by student teams with the instructor as advisor. For this project, the instructor intentionally recruits teams from the class members that have similar areas of project interests, but also come from diverse education, experience, and cultural backgrounds. By advocating inclusion of diverse teams, the instructor aims to achieve a more realistic simulation of working in industry, while students bring their own perspectives from their various educational, work experience, and cultural backgrounds. In this paper, the researchers explore these two perspectives in detail. The instructor discusses the motivations behind the use of diverse teams in the class projects, and the students discuss the perceived impacts of being in diverse teams for semester-long projects. The paper includes background information on diverse teams, and sections detailing the project, project team selection, inclusion of diverse backgrounds in project teams, and the its value for graduate students.
Johnson, M. E., & Wang, J., & Gupta, S. (2022, April), Motivation and Impact of Diverse Student Teams in Graduate Projects Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Illinois-Indiana Section Conference , Anderson, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/42135
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