June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.969.1 - 13.969.10
Peer Assessment of Teamwork and Collaborative Learning in Construction/Civil Engineering Recently, employers have indicated that they are not totally satisfied with the individualistic approach of the average engineering graduate. This may be due to the fact that in many companies team goals, team contributions, and team rewards often supersede individual actions. The findings of a past study suggest that students have accepted the concepts of collaborative teaching and learning, as well as team projects. In fact, many believe that these concepts develop critical thinking and leadership skills. However, this investigation of the peer assessment process suggests that not all students are doing their share in team work projects. Unfortunately, this is a problem with team assignments that may be difficult to solve. Nevertheless, comments indicate that a course utilizing the concepts of collaborative learning and teamwork was interesting, informative, and could be of assistance to respondents in future endeavors. This paper discusses these concepts.
Presently and in the past, engineering faculty often utilized the lecture method for classroom instruction. However, classroom discussion, collaborative learning/teaching, and team experiences are generally thought to be required for the enhancement of critical thinking and leadership skills. Nevertheless, the concept of group learning and especially discussion may, at times, be difficult to initiate, because students have generally competed against each other since the first grade. However, today teamwork is often more important than individual actions in many companies.
This paper reviews the importance of communication skills, the concept of collaborative learning/teaching, and presents the results of an investigation of student peer assessment of team projects. The data for the study were obtained from a survey of students enrolled in civil/construction engineering courses that were taught for a number of years.
Collaborative learning may be described as an intellectual endeavor in which individuals act jointly with others to become knowledgeable of some particular subject matter. Unfortunately, collaboration may sometimes be called cheating. However, upon graduation most individuals become part of an industrial or university team and are required to collaborate with the members of the group. Today, teamwork is especially important to engineering students. A recent paper indicates that there are challenges related to group learning10. It was found that “It was more difficult teaching the students how to function effectively as a team than it was teaching them some of the more advanced technical tools.” Another study suggests that students indicate only moderate support for group or team work13.
Koehn, E., & Koehn, J. (2008, June), Peer Assessment Of Team Work And Collaborative Learning In Construction/Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3890
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