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The Formation Of Cooperative Learning Teams Based Upon Student Demographics

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

11.1291.1 - 11.1291.12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--188

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/188

Download Count

34

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Paper Authors

author page

Carlotta Berry Tennessee State University

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

The formation of cooperative learning teams based upon student demographics

Abstract

This paper examines the methodology used to form cooperative learning teams for an introductory circuits course. In the 2004 school year, the engineering undergraduate population at Tennessee State University was 88 % African American and 26 % female. This demographic distribution presents some interesting research questions. How does cooperative learning team formation and composition change when the teams are at a minority serving institution? Should the team composition still include at least two women or “traditional” minorities in order to insure overall team effectiveness? Who would be considered a minority with respect to the cooperative learning team composition? A statistical analysis using SPSS was used to determine if there was any statistical difference in individual and team performance based upon team composition with respect to pre-requisite grade, gender, race, learning style and various other factors. In this presentation, the analysis of team performance indicated that there was no significant difference in individual student exam grades but there was a difference with respect to team assignments and the final course grade.

Introduction

Tennessee State University is a historically African American university in Nashville, TN with an approximate enrollment of 10,000 students. The College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science has an approximate enrollment of 1,000 students and dc circuit analysis is required by all engineering majors. In 2004, the engineering undergraduate population in the college was approximately 88 % African American and 26 % female. The high percentage of female enrollment may be based upon current trends that indicate a decrease in the enrollment of African American males in college. The dc circuit analysis course is taught using active learning activities such as cooperative learning teams. Some of the research questions to be answered by this paper include: How does cooperative learning team formation and composition change when the teams are at a minority serving institution? Should the team composition still include at least two women or “traditional” minorities in order to insure overall team effectiveness? Who would be considered a minority with respect to the cooperative learning team composition?

The dc circuit analysis course is required by all engineering majors including electrical, mechanical, architectural, and civil. Previous research indicates that teams formed by self- selection may not be as effective as those formed by the instructor. This previous work indicates that heterogeneous team composition by grade and interest is more effective with respect to student performance, attitude and efficiency1,2. With regards to these results and previous work on the statistical analysis of student performance in this course based upon demographics, a methodology for team formation was created3. This methodology included student self- assessments and concept inventories based upon Eric Mazur’s work, the Felder- Solomon index of learning styles as well as a consideration of gender, race, and pre-requisite grades4,5. The pre-requisites for this course are Physics II, Calculus IV and programming. The

Berry, C. (2006, June), The Formation Of Cooperative Learning Teams Based Upon Student Demographics Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--188

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