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Talkin' Teams – Strategies for Elevating Student and Team Skill Development over Project Completion

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Design Teamwork

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1131.1 - 23.1131.11



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Paper Authors


Greg Kremer Ohio University

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Robe Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering, and the director of the "Designing to Make A Difference" ME senior capstone design experience.

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Talkin' Teams – Developing team skills and team member skillsThere are many excellent articles and texts on the topics of team-based learning, collaborativelearning, learning organizations, effective teams, intra-team communication, and professional skills.The goal of this paper is to distill many of these resources and over a decade of experience leading ayear-long team-based capstone design experience into some reproducible characteristics that haveyielded positive results in the simultaneous development of team skills and team member skills.Overcoming the use of ‘divide and conquer’ approaches that provide short term productivity but limitthe development of team skills is a challenge. This paper describes an integrative learning approachto team skills that includes: Grading and performance reviews that reward participation in buildingteam skills, team formation based on cognitive diversity, peer coaching based on areas ofspecialization, and consideration of team and individual tasks when structuring deliverables,including reports and presentations.Other aspects of the capstone design experience that influence team and individual skill developmentinclude the use of collaborative project management tools, mentoring relationships with freshmenstudents in the Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Course, a checklist-based approach forcreating an ongoing dialogue between the design teams and Industrial Advisory Board projectmentors, requirements to reflect on and evaluate decisions as a team, and a significant emphasis onprofessional skills. The learning approach is experiential and integrative and the assessed courseoutcomes include a balance of individual engineering skills and team effectiveness skills. Directassessment of student work and behaviors and example-based performance reviews (that include arange of professional and team skills) are used to assess team skills and team member skills.Assessment data is available for multiple years for most outcomes, and along with student feedbackthe data supports that students develop and demonstrate both their individual capacity and thecapability of their team.

Kremer, G. (2013, June), Talkin' Teams – Strategies for Elevating Student and Team Skill Development over Project Completion Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22516

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