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Multi Source Feedback Processes And Student Learning Styles: Measuring The Influence On Learning Outcomes

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.734.1 - 6.734.11



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Paper Authors

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Justin Chimka

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Mary E. Besterfield-Sacre

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Jack McGourty

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Harvey Wolfe

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

Session 3630

Multi-source Feedback Processes and Student Learning Styles: Measuring the Influence on Learning Outcomes* Jack McGourty, Columbia University and Larry Shuman, Justin Chimka, Mary Besterfield-Sacre and Harvey Wolfe, University of Pittsburgh


With the realization that active and cooperative learning are effective pedagogical modes, and stimulated by ABET’s EC-2000, more and more engineering courses are being designed to give students hands-on experiences including working in a team. This trend towards team-based course work has also been influenced by industry where teams have become the prevalent mode of work. In fact, multidisciplinary teams have become an integral part of product development, process improvement, and manufacturing activities. Such management techniques as concurrent engineering, total quality management, and business process re-engineering are based on people effectively working together in teams. Hence, engineering educators, recognizing these trends, are designing more and more courses around teams and providing increased opportunities for students to work in teams. These experiences range from short, decision-making exercises to course-long project management or business simulations, and senior design capstone courses. Such programs as MIT’s undergraduate design course and their “New Products Program” make extensive use of teams composed of students, faculty and outside sponsors [1]. That model is currently being replicated across US engineering institutions. Now, almost every accredited engineering program has at least one project-driven course that provides students with the opportunity to experience, as part of a team, design from idea conception to some level of completion. If properly structured, such courses can teach students the skills necessary for being effective team members, including multidisciplinary teams.

Unfortunately, educators frequently incorporate student teams into their courses with little thought given to either learning objectives or the most effective way to introduce teamwork. Minimal guidance is provided to students on group development, soliciting member input, consensus building, resolving conflicts, and team leadership. Evaluation often is subjective, and, at best, may be a piecemeal integration of very rough individual and group level performance measures. Consequently, much learning (and potential learning) of small group dynamics and team behavior is not capitalized upon.

In this paper, we present a review of our research focused on student team learning in relation to their preferred learning style. A multi-source feedback process is used to

* This paper supported in part by National Science Foundation grant: EC-9872498, Engineering Education: Assessment Methodologies and Curricula Innovations.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Shuman, L., & Chimka, J., & Besterfield-Sacre, M. E., & McGourty, J., & Wolfe, H. (2001, June), Multi Source Feedback Processes And Student Learning Styles: Measuring The Influence On Learning Outcomes Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9588

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