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Teamwork Development and Evaluation for Hybrid Thermal Fluids Laboratory Course

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Developing Teamwork, Student Attitudes, and Hardware Solutions for Laboratory Courses: Experimentation and Laboratory-oriented Studies Division

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

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Paper Authors


Natasha Smith P.E. University of Virginia

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Dr. Smith is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia

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Laboratory courses provide an opportunity for students to practice engineering skills in ways not possible in a traditional classroom environment. Hands-on activities challenge their creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Beyond that, labs are an ideal platform for developing teamwork and communication.

In normal circumstances, providing quality lab experiences can be resource intensive and logistically challenging, particularly for large class sizes. This year, new safety measures required by Covid-19 have completely changed the equation, adding constraints few of us could have anticipated a year ago. One solution to the Covid-19 puzzle is remote learning; this might involve video demonstration of experiments, simulations, and/or ‘at home’ experiments. Another option is to continue to offer in-person labs with added safety measures to include mask wearing, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning. For the Fall 2020 thermal-fluids laboratory course for Mechanical and Aerospace engineers, [] adopted a hybrid model. Students were given the option to take the class 100% remotely, or they could attend lab in person every other week. During the second week of the semester, entire sections met online for team forming. Though some attempt was made to group in-person students in the same team, several teams had a mix of in-person and remote students. The curriculum was redesigned into two-week blocks. During the ‘on’ week, students collected data from an experiment they performed in person or watched virtually. During the ‘off’ week, they worked in teams on various activities including report peer review workshops, a team project, and post-processing of the previous week’s experiments. This paper will discuss how the course design fostered team development in the hybrid learning environment. Metrics from each type of team: in-person, remote, and mixed; will be assessed. These will include performance on individual and team assignments, team member peer evaluations via Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME) evaluations, and student self-assessments via a post-course survey.

Smith, N. (2021, July), Teamwork Development and Evaluation for Hybrid Thermal Fluids Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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