New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Educational Research and Methods
The role of shared physical and conceptual spaces in affording shared meaning and effective teams
This research paper follows up on a study presented at ASEE 2015 on the concept of ‘togethering’, and explores the ways in which five first-year design teams attempted to use their physical space to create a shared conceptual space, and the impact their efforts had on the teams’ ability to co-construct shared meaning and develop an effective team environment.
To better understand how these teams worked together, a qualitative study was conducted using video recordings of team meetings in two large first-year design courses, supplemented with stimulated recall interviews with individual team members to assist in interpreting team member intention. Student teams were followed through non-participatory observation for three team-meetings spaced out over a four month term. The data were analyzed using NVivo with a constant comparison method. Initially, individual behaviours and oral contributions were coded with respect to how they contributed to moving (or not moving) the team toward the course goals (developing a design) and for meaning-making episodes. However, these definitions of team progress and meaning-making were not sufficient to describe how the teams were able to co-construct their design work, as they privileged the outcome of the interaction over its modality and process. Subsequent analysis and coding of the team meetings have produced definitions of ‘incident’ to be an outcome of the teams’ interaction plus a shared conceptual and/or physical space, (un)conscious objectives/intentions and a defined activity. These incidents can then be evaluated in terms of how the team engages, responds and tunes with one another to ‘together’ and create a collaborative environment.
This paper will investigate how the shared physical and conceptual space of the team members allowed them to interact with each other in a way that afforded them the ability to engage, respond and tune to one another and the team. Through further exploration of the video-recordings of the teams, the researchers have identified how both physical and conceptual space is fundamental to a team’s ability to ‘together’ and make thinking and designing a collective process rather than a collection of individual thoughts. Strategies for facilitating student shared physical and conceptual space that afford shared meaning and effective teams to emerge will be presented.
Kinnear, P., & Sheridan, P. K., & Evans, G., & Reeve, D. (2016, June), The Role of Shared Physical Space in Affording the Creation of Shared Conceptual Spaces in Design Project Teams Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27010
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