Asee peer logo

Team CARE Model: Assessing Team Dynamics in First-year Engineering Student Teams

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

First Year Programs Division Poster Session: The Best Place to Really Talk about First-Year Education

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1495.1 - 26.1495.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nicole Lynn Larson University of Calgary

visit author page

Larson is completing her final year of her master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology at the University of Calgary under the supervision of Dr. Thomas O’Neill. She has been working with the Schulich School of Engineering for the past two years. During this period she has been involved in several initiatives, such as assessing student learning and engagement, implementing systems for peer evaluations, and leading teamwork training sessions. Larson is currently conducting research on team learning processes in engineering student project teams. Additionally, she has co-developed a framework for measuring and interpreting an array of team dynamics. An online assessment tool has been created based on this framework which allows teams to diagnose and improve the "health" of their team. She is passionate about her area of research and plans to continue conducting research on factors that contribute to effective teamwork.

visit author page


Genevieve Hoffart University of Calgary

visit author page

Hoffart is completing her honor's degree under the supervision of Dr. Thomas O'Neill at the University of Calgary, looking at the influence processes in teams. She has been working with the Schulich School of Engineering for the past three years, during which time her focus has been on improving team dynamics and maximizing the student experience. In addition co-developing the communication training framework that has now been applied to over 2500 students campus-wide, Genevieve has personally facilitated many of the training sessions. Her goal is to continue working on developing applicable and universal tools to improve the functioning of both student and industry teams in institutions and organizations across North America.

visit author page


Tom O'Neill University of Calgary

visit author page

O'Neill is a Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a leading expert in the areas of team dynamics, virtual teams, conflict management, personality, and assessment. He is director of the Individual and Team Performance Lab and the Virtual Team Performance, Innovation, and Collaboration Lab at the University of Calgary, which was built through a $500K Canada Foundation for Innovation Infrastructure Grant. He also holds operating grants of over $300K to conduct leading-edge research on virtual team effectiveness. Over the past 10 years, Tom has worked with organizations in numerous industries, including oil and gas, healthcare, technology, and venture capitals. He is currently engaged with the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary to train, develop, and cultivate soft-skill teamwork competencies in order to equip graduates with strong interpersonal and communication capabilities.

visit author page


Marjan Eggermont University of Calgary

visit author page

Marjan Eggermont is the current Associate Dean (Student Affairs) and a Senior Instructor and a faculty member at the University of Calgary in the Mechanical and Manufacturing department of the Schulich School of Engineering. She teaches graphical, written, and oral communication in their first Engineering Design and Communication course.
With co-editors Tom McKeag (San Francisco) and Norbert Hoeller (Toronto) she co-founded and designs ZQ, an online journal to provide a platform to showcase the nexus of science and design using case studies, news, and articles.

visit author page

author page

William Daniel Rosehart P.Eng. University of Calgary

author page

Bob Brennan University of Calgary

Download Paper |


Team CARE model: Assessing team dynamics in first-year engineering student teamsBackground: Educators in engineering disciplines place a high value on teamwork skills;however, few instructional hours and resources are devoted to developing these skills at theundergraduate level. To address this issue, a partnership between psychology and engineeringhas resulted in an in-depth examination of factors that lead to better teamwork. Initially, weanalyzed and disseminated results pertaining to overall levels of student teamwork dynamics.Recently we took these results one step further by developing a theoretical model based on datawe collected and a through review of the literature. Specifically, the Team CARE model wasdeveloped using data collected, over the span of three years, from first-year engineering studentsenrolled in a design and communications course at a large North American university. TeamCARE is a diagnostic tool that provides teams with specific information on the “health” oreffectiveness of their team. We describe the model, theoretical background, how to access thetool, and provide an example of a team diagnostic report.The model: Team CARE model brings together several key teamwork theories to provide ainclusive assessment of a team’s current state of health. Team CARE stands for: Communicate,Adapt, Relate, and Educate. The first dimension, Communicate, encompasses role clarity andcommunication norms. The second dimension, Adapt, entails monitoring team goals, beingflexible to changing demands, and providing other members with back-up when needed. Thethird factor, Relate, assesses conflict (i.e., task, relationship, and process) and team trust. Thefourth component, Educate, measures team learning and task-related information sharing.The tool: The Team CARE diagnostic tool is an online platform that presents students withsurvey items regarding an array of dynamics occurring in their team. First, an instructor inputshis or her class list and identifies the students’ team membership and email address. Second,students are automatically emailed participation invites and are provided with a link to thesurvey. Each student completes the online assessment which takes approximately 15 minutes.Third, once all team members have completed the online assessment a diagnostic report isautomatically generated, by aggregating team member responses, and is emailed to the team.Individual responses are anonymous and confidential as only aggregated data appears in thereport. The CARE report provides the team with valuable information by presenting scores oneach key component of teamwork.We describe each component of the Team CARE model and provide an overview of how toaccess the Team CARE assessment tool at no charge through our platform. Additionally, we willpresent a sample feedback report which is automatically generated and delivered to studentsparticipating in the team health assessment. We believe that the Team CARE diagnostic tool hasenormous potential to impact the teamwork capabilities of engineering student teams. Byintroducing students to the Team CARE model we provide them with a basis for understandingtheir team’s ability to communicate, adapt, relate to one another, and learn together.

Larson, N. L., & Hoffart, G., & O'Neill, T., & Eggermont, M., & Rosehart, W. D., & Brennan, B. (2015, June), Team CARE Model: Assessing Team Dynamics in First-year Engineering Student Teams Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24832

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015