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Team Effectiveness in Predicting Student Learning: An Analysis of First-year Engineering Students

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Team Facilitation and Effectiveness

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


P.K. Imbrie University of Cincinnati

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P.K. Imbrie is the Head and Professor of the Department of Engineering Education and a Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
University of Cincinnati. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is an advocate for research-based approaches to engineering education, curricular reform, and student retention. Imbrie conducts both traditional, as well as educational research in experimental mechanics, piezospectroscopic techniques, epistemologies, assessment, and modeling of student learning, student success, student team effectiveness, and global competencies He helped establish the scholarly foundation for engineering education as an academic discipline through lead authorship of the landmark 2006 JEE special reports “The National Engineering Education Research Colloquies” and “The Research Agenda for the New Discipline of Engineering Education.” He has a passion for designing state-of-the-art learning spaces. While at Purdue University, Imbrie co-led the creation of the First-Year Engineering Program’s Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Learning Laboratory, a design-oriented facility that engages students in team-based, socially relevant projects. While at Texas A&M University Imbrie co-led the design of a 525,000 square foot state-of-the-art engineering education focused facility; the largest educational building in the state. His expertise in educational pedagogy, student learning, and teaching has impacted thousands of students at the universities for which he has been associated. Imbrie is nationally recognized for his work in active/collaborative learning pedagogies, teaming and student success modeling. His engineering education leadership has produced fundamental changes in the way students are educated around the world.

Imbrie has been a member of ASEE since 2000 and has been actively involved with the Society in various capacities. He has served in multiple leadership roles in the ERM and FPD divisions, including: ERM board of directors (2002-2004), program chair for ERM (2005 and 2009), ERM program chair for Frontiers in Education (FIE) (2004), FIE Steering Committee ERM representative (2003-2009), as well as program chair (2016) and division chair (2016-17) for FPD. He has also served on two ASEE advisory committees.

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Jutshi Agarwal University of Cincinnati

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Jutshi is a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati pursuing research in Engineering Education. She is working on various team-forming, team-effectiveness research in addition to graduate student professional development for academic careers. She also manages the student teaching team for a college-wide first year engineering course.

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Gibin Raju University of Cincinnati Orcid 16x16

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Gibin Raju is an Adjunct Faculty with the Transition and Access Program at the University of Cincinnati. He is also a graduate student in Educational Studies with the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at the University of Cincinnati. His research interests are focused on ID/ODD, stem accessibility issues, workforce development, STEM education, and education practices.

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This work-in-progress research paper addresses issues related to the measurement of team effectiveness. The study is motivated by recent changes in the ABET Criterion 3 accreditation guidelines, which state that students are mandated to demonstrate "an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives." In addition to ABET, the use of teams in engineering education has become a widespread pedagogical tool to facilitate the learning of technical content, as well as to prepare students for professional practice. Thus, having the ability to measure the effectiveness of such experiences is of both academic and industrial importance.

Even with the increased emphasis on the use of student teams in academia, research studies that rigorously attempt to assess team effectiveness are limited. Team effectiveness is an essential element of the overall collaborative experience, and the work presented herein will address the following research questions: 1) How do differences in perceptions of team effectiveness (measured by constructs of learning, interdependency, goal setting and potency) explain variability in individual learning? 2) How do differences in perceptions of team effectiveness (measured by constructs of learning, interdependency, goal setting and potency) predict variability in team performance?

The study involved two samples of over 1100 first-year engineering students in a large public institution enrolled in two consecutive First-Year engineering courses. Team sizes were nominally four students, with a limited number of teams of three students. Teams were formed with consideration of multiple criteria that included: sex, ethnicity, and educational background. Team effectiveness was measured in terms of a self-report, 24-item instrument, which has evidence of reliability and validity, that required students to indicate the degree to which their team worked together across a range of domains, including interdependency, learning, potency, and goal setting. Results to be presented include: psychometric analysis to support the combining of multiple datasets; Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) that supports the factor structure of the team effectiveness measure; and predictive analysis to predict student team success measured by quiz scores, project grades, etc. using the self-reported team effectiveness as the independent measure.

Imbrie, P., & Agarwal, J., & Raju, G. (2020, June), Team Effectiveness in Predicting Student Learning: An Analysis of First-year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35285

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