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Teaching Self Evaluation Skills In A Team Based

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.426.1 - 1.426.6

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Paper Authors

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Martha Ostheimer

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Hal Tharp

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

Session 2532

Teaching Self-Evaluation Skills h a Team-Based Project Class

Martha Ostheimer, Hal Tharp The University of Arizona Electrical and Computer Engineering Tucson, AZ 85721-0104


Recent industry feedback indicates that graduating engineers need better preparation in solving open-ended problems and communication. In response to this feedback, we have developed a team-based design project class that emphasizes self-evaluation, peer-evaluation, and group evaluation of problem solving strategies, as well as written and oral communication skills. The course is built around unique team-projects that each group creates. The course also includes significant writing-to-learn activities that encourage students to reflect on and develop an awareness of their problem solving processes and communication skills. The students also work in teams, and in pairs, to evaluate the process of solving problems. Their written and oral presentations are also self-evaluated and peer-evaluated. This emphasis on students becoming more self-aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their problem solving abilities, and on students becoming capable of evaluating the effectiveness of their communication skills, will prepare our students to better evaluate their future work in industry.


Results of a survey conducted by Arizona State University that asked its engineering seniors, alumni, faculty, and industry representatives that employ new engineering graduates to rank the relative importance of a set of ten desirable attributes and the performance of new graduates in these attributes, indicate that the ability to recognize and solve problems is significantly more important than any other attribute ranked by the four rating groups [1]. Additionally, both industry and alumni rated communication skills second in importance over mathematics skills, science skills, and depth and breadth of technical skills.

What is more interesting, is the relative performance ratings of new graduates in these attributes. With regard to problem solving, industry rated graduates’ preparation as 7 (l-First, 10-Last) and alumni rated it 4. The rating for performance in communication skills was 8 for both rating groups.

If our goal as educators is to produce the desired attributes our engineering graduates will need to perform successfdly in their careers, we must listen to this feedback and modify our curriculum design accordingly.

Teachers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona have been working on ways to better educate and prepare our students specifically in the areas of problem

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Ostheimer, M., & Tharp, H. (1996, June), Teaching Self Evaluation Skills In A Team Based Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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