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The Effect Of Personality Type On Team Performance In Engineering Materials Term Projects.

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Materials In Design And Manufacturing

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1221.1 - 13.1221.9



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Paper Authors

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Dave Kim Washington State University-Vancouver

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Jaesoon Jang Washington State University-Vancouver

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Sung Jae Shin Washington State University-Tricity

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

The effect of personality type on team performance in engineering materials term projects.


Most of long-term engineering class projects require teamwork. Often, conducting projects increase the quality of classroom life and facilitate student learning. Sometimes, team projects hinder student learning and create disharmony and dissatisfaction with classroom life. In many cases, the mixture of each individual’s personality determines team dynamics. The ‘Introduction to Engineering Materials’ course for junior level students encompasses a semester-long term project, which heavily requires teamwork. The term project should focus on a component of existing manufactured products and show why a particular material is used for a particular application. The experiments chosen should prove or disprove this. Each team will chose a topic, determine how to evaluate that topic, devise relevant experiments, evaluate the results of these experiments and formulate a conclusion. Finally, the students will present their results to the class at the end of the semester. The goal of this study is to see how the team performance can be affected by each individual student’s personality type in the term projects of the engineering material course. The personality test used in this study was the DISC test, which is the oldest, most validated, and reliable personality assessment tool. DISC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness, which are the four dimensions in the personality characteristics. For the term project, six teams were formulated. The instructor assigned four or five students to a team. Students with similar personality types were assigned to work with each other in three of the teams. The other three teams have students with well-mixed dimensions in their personality characteristics. This paper presents the effectiveness of using student personality on team building for the semester-long team projects. Overall student experience and lessons learned in organizing such a project are also discussed.

1. Introduction

Developing effective teamwork skills among undergraduate students is part of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)’s engineering criterion 2006- 2007 [1]. Besides the ABET requirements, many employers emphasize the need of good teamwork skills for the engineering graduates [2]. In addition, it is well known that cooperative learning enhance students’ learning performances. Under the cooperative learning or teamwork environment, students work together to maximize not only their own, but other students ability to learn [3,4]. Most engineering programs incorporate a number of team projects into their curricula and there are some excellent guidelines on incorporating teamwork into existing courses [5]. A number of studies have been done on how to improve effectiveness of corporative learning or teamwork in engineering classrooms. With no surprise, successful teamwork with proper team functionality

Kim, D., & Jang, J., & Shin, S. J. (2008, June), The Effect Of Personality Type On Team Performance In Engineering Materials Term Projects. Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3765

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