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Software For Student Team Formation And Peer Evaluation: Catme Incorporates Team Maker

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1286.1 - 12.1286.5



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Paper Authors


Richard Layton Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Richard A. Layton is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Instsitute of Technology. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. His professional interests include modeling and simulation of dynamic systems as well as curriculum and laboratory development in mechanical engineering. He has given workshops on building student teams for the ERM’s Regional Effective Teaching Institute as well as workshops in laboratory development.

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Matthew Ohland Purdue Engineering Education Orcid 16x16

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Matthew W. Ohland is an Associate Professor in Purdue University’s Department of Engineering Education and is the Past President of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a minor in Education from the University of Florida in 1996. Previously, he served as Assistant Director of the NSF-sponsored SUCCEED Engineering Education Coalition. He studies peer evaluation and longitudinal student records in engineering education.

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Hal R. Pomeranz Deer Run Associates, Inc.

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Hal R. Pomeranz is a computer network security and database programming consultant. He is a co-founder of Deer Run Associates, Inc., currently operating in Eugene, Oregon.

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

Software for Student Team Formation and Peer Evaluation: CATME Incorporates Team-Maker


Last year, a multi-university research team designed a web-based peer evaluation instrument called CATME (Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness) that is simple to use. In a previous, smaller-scale research effort, a group of students and faculty developed a software package called Team-Maker that automates the process of assigning students to teams. The present work incorporates the functionality of the Team-Maker software package into the CATME system. The goal of the integrated package is twofold: 1) to provide a useful tool for faculty to manage teams at their institutions; and 2) to create a high-quality, easy-to-use tool for investigating research questions in engineering education. The poster format is well-suited to showing screen shots of the software interface, promoting discussions of its functionality for managing, studying, and improving the development of students’ teaming skills.

Assigning teams using Team-Maker

The basic functionality of the Team-Maker system is to assign students to teams using instructor- defined criteria, including criteria consistent with the cooperative learning literature. First, the instructor decides which attributes of students to measure in assigning teams. Next, students complete confidential surveys to determine their attributes. Finally, the instructor assigns a weighting factor to each attribute and the system assigns students to teams. The purpose of the system is to improve the likelihood that teams will satisfy an instructor’s criteria for team formation. The development and testing of Team-Maker is described in [1].

The Team-Maker system provides two web interfaces—one for the instructor and one for students. The instructor’s interface is used to create the survey and, once students have completed the survey, to assign students to teams in accordance with an instructor-defined weighting scheme. The student’s interface allows each student to complete the confidential survey. Features of the team-assignment system important to forming cooperative-learning teams include: the instructor decides which attributes or skills (e.g., grades in prior courses, GPA, writing skill) are to be distributed heterogeneously across teams; the prevention, if possible, of underrepresented minorities being outnumbered on a team; and matching student schedules such that members of a team have a reasonable expectation of being able to meet outside of class.

To initially test the system, students already assigned to teams by instructors completed the survey. The survey information was entered into the Team-Maker database and teams assigned. The degree to which the team assignments, both automated and manual, complied with the instructors’ criteria was compared [2].

Team-Maker has been in use for three years, primarily by faculty at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. In 2004-05, the package was made available via “”, an open-source Internet venue, to give it more publicity and to attract other developers. One such developer has

Layton, R., & Ohland, M., & Pomeranz, H. R. (2007, June), Software For Student Team Formation And Peer Evaluation: Catme Incorporates Team Maker Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2355

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