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Teaching And Assessing Teaming Skills In A Senior Level Design Course

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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

6.930.1 - 6.930.8



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Paper Authors

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Patricia Brackin

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Julia Williams

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

Session 2625

Teaching and Assessing Team Skills in a Senior Level Design Course

Patricia Brackin, Julia Williams Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


Industry wants to hire graduates with good teaming skills. As a result, many universities are introducing projects that require students to work in teams. Unfortunately engineering educators find it difficult to assess a student’s team skills adequately. Requiring students to work in teams does not necessarily improve a student’s ability to be an effective team member. Engineering educators must decide what teaming skills students need, methods for teaching those skills, and strategies for evaluating them. This paper examines the teaming portion of a senior level mechanical engineering machine design course. Each student in the course is assigned to a team that completes a project sponsored by an industrial partner. The authors discuss successful strategies for assigning, developing, and evaluating team skills.

Students who complete the course are expected to demonstrate an ability to work effectively in teams. The teaming skills that students are expected to demonstrate in this course are as follows: the ability to share responsibilities and duties, take on different roles when applicable, analyze ideas objectively, discern feasible solutions, develop a strategy for action, and build consensus. Course activities are structured to help students acquire these skills. Activities include team building, project management, team management and defining rubrics for evaluating team skills. Assessment of student performance includes peer evaluation, student self-assessment, and portfolio assessment.


Students in ME 460, Machine Design, a senior level, required course have been working in teams on industrial sponsored projects for the past 10 years at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Team projects are an integral part of students’ education. Mechanical Engineering students begin working on teams during their freshmen year and are required to do so until they graduate. During the 1997-98 academic year, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology developed institutional teaming objectives. Because of the many opportunities available for students to work on teams, it was assumed that all students would be able to demonstrate their teaming skills easily. This was not the case. Students were not able to provide evidence that they could work effectively in teams. This paper discusses the desired teaming skills and the course activities that were instituted to improve students’ teaming skills.

Students who complete Machine Design are expected to demonstrate an ability to work effectively

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

Brackin, P., & Williams, J. (2001, June), Teaching And Assessing Teaming Skills In A Senior Level Design Course Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9849

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