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Team Building in a Project-Based Learning Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Project-Based, Inquiry Guided, and High Performance Learning Environments: Effective Approaches

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1410.1 - 22.1410.15



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Paper Authors


Bernard J. Van Wie Washington State University

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Prof. Bernard J. Van Wie did his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. and postdoctoral work at the University of Oklahoma where he also taught as a Visiting Lecturer. He has been on the WSU faculty for 28 years and over the past 13 years has focused strongly on innovative pedagogy along with his technical research in biotechnology. His recent Fulbright Exchange to Nigeria set the stage for receipt of the Marian Smith Award given annually to the most innovative teacher at WSU. 509-335-4103 (Off); 509-335-4806 (Fax);

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Denny C. Davis Washington State University

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Dr. Davis is Professor of Bioengineering and Director of the Engineering Education Research Center at Washington State University. He has led numerous multidisciplinary research projects to enhance engineering education. He currently leads projects creating and testing assessments and curriculum materials for engineering design and professional skills, especially for use in capstone engineering design courses. He has been a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education since 2002.

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Paul B. Golter Washington State University Orcid 16x16

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Paul B. Golter obtained an MS from Washington State University and recently defended his Ph.D. degree and is currently the Laboratory Supervisor in the Voiland School of School of Chemical Engineering and Bio-engineering at WSU. He is married with three children. 509-338-5724.

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Ashfaq Ansery Washington State University


Baba Abdul Washington State University

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Baba Abdul received an M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria in 2005. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at Washington State University. His research interests include transport processes in minimal support helicosymmetric minichannels and aspects of engineering education (New Engineering Learning Systems & Bringing Technical Research into the classroom).

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Team Building in a Project-based Learning CourseImplementing Project-based Learning sounds like a good idea as students will work in teamssimilar to what they might find in industry. However, we find that organizing the class intoteams and assigning a project task is a small part of what needs to happen for those teams tofunction properly. Typically teams have considerable issues in terms of interpersonal relation-ships, schedule miss-matches, distribution of labor, and sharing leadership responsibilities. In arecent implementation we asked students to use a team-centered website developed for integrateddesign course assessment and learning. The process begins with joint development of a teamcontract followed by team citizenship assessments for formative improvement of the team proc-ess during the semester. Finally a summative aspect is added in which team members rate eachother on their contributions and achievements. The website provides the instructor a listing ofteam comments that affords ample opportunity for assessing team development. We find by useof the website that students who typically overwork to accomplish tasks left undone by othersnow begin to challenge others and encourage them to reach a higher potential. Student com-ments reveal incidents where a person was willing to sacrifice a higher grade they may haveachieved if they did all the work in order to help others obtain higher levels of achievements anda higher average team grade. In this paper we will document our past experiences and shortcom-ings of team processes and demonstrate how use of a team-training website adds significantbenefit to the team experience.

Van Wie, B. J., & Davis, D. C., & Golter, P. B., & Ansery, A., & Abdul, B. (2011, June), Team Building in a Project-Based Learning Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18385

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