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Predicting Team Project Score: It’s More about Team Harmony and Less about Individual Performance

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Student Division Technical Session 3

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Paper Authors


Jeong Hin Chin University of Michigan

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Bachelor of Science in Statistics, Statistics Department, College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

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Yuan Gao University of Michigan

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Herbert Li University of Michigan


Magel P. Su California Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Magel P. Su is a PhD student in the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Harry Atwater. He has a B.S.E in materials science and engineering and a minor in chemistry from the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he was a member of the Ultrafast Laser - Material Interaction Laboratory and the Engineering Honors Program. He also served as an instructor for several courses including Introduction to Engineering, Introduction to Materials and Manufacturing, and Structural and Chemical Characterization of Materials.

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Robin Fowler University of Michigan

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Robin Fowler is a lecturer in the Program in Technical Communication at the University of Michigan. She enjoys serving as a "communication coach" to students throughout the curriculum, and she's especially excited to work with first year and senior students, as well as engineering project teams, as they navigate the more open-ended communication decisions involved in describing the products of open-ended design scenarios.

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Team projects are common pedagogy, especially in senior design projects and introductory courses. Team-based pedagogy has the potential for all kinds of benefits, but not all students see those benefits equally (Meadows & Sekaptewa, 2014; Hirshfield, 2018; Fowler & Su, 2018). In an effort to personalize support of teams, our institution is developing a tool named Tandem, which provides individualized lessons, regular team-level feedback, and periodic self- and teammate-assessment of students in team settings. The tool’s lessons ask students to engage with content by reflecting on the content (example lessons include “group communication,” “imposter syndrome,” and “giving and receiving feedback”) (citations all include co-author/ will be added after reviews).

In this project, we investigate data from the first two semesters piloting this tool (Spring 2019 and Fall 2019), looking at whether the tool works, and for whom. That is, we look at students’ attitude toward teamwork before and after an intensive first-year engineering course, as well as their groupwork concerns, and we see whether those change from before to after the semester, and whether there are patterns to the change. We will investigate the following research questions, using data from 120 first year engineering students involved in these two semesters:

Do students’ attitudes towards and concerns about working in groups change from the beginning to the end of this experience? Is there a relationship between students’ demographic characteristics and this change? Is there a relationship between how students engage with the teamwork support tool and this change?

Chin, J. H., & Gao, Y., & Li, H., & Su, M. P., & Fowler, R. (2020, June), Predicting Team Project Score: It’s More about Team Harmony and Less about Individual Performance Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35075

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