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The Teamwork Conundrum: What Should be Taught and How Can We Assess Team Learning in Engineering Technology

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Integration of Liberal Education into Engineering

Tagged Divisions

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society and Engineering Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1504.1 - 22.1504.15



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Paper Authors


Vassilios Tzouanas University of Houston, Downtown

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Vassilios Tzouanas is an Assistant Professor of Control and Instrumentation in the Engineering Technology Department at the University of Houston-Downtown. Dr. Tzouanas earned a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from Aristotle University, the Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering/Process Control from the University of Alberta, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering/Process Control from Lehigh University. His research interests focus on process control systems, process modeling and simulation, artificial intelligence and expert systems. His professional experience includes management and technical positions with chemicals, refining, and consulting companies. He has published and presented a number of papers on advanced process control, real-time optimization systems, adaptive control, artificial intelligence and expert systems. He is a member of AIChE.

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Lea Campbell University of Houston, Downtown

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Lea Campbell is the Director of Academic Assessment at University of Houston Downtown. Dr. Campbell received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, in Higher Education
Administration and a B.A. and M.S. in Mathematics from Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico. Prior to joining University of Houston Downtown, Dr. Campbell was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Developmental Education at City Colleges of Chicago. She has published articles and text books on developmental mathematics, technical communications and strategies for improving student success.

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The Teamwork Conundrum: What to Teaching and How to Assess Teamwork in an Engineering Technology Program?A reoccurring finding in national surveys of employers, including a 2005 survey sponsored bythe Association of American Colleges and Universities, has been the need for higher education toplace greater emphasis on helping students develop strong teamwork skills. Teamwork skillsare particularly necessary for professionals in the engineering fields where diverse groups mustwork together to solve difficult and complex problems. But how and in what context can thoseskills be taught? Once taught, how can those skills be assessed and how can faculty provideobjective feedback to students when teamwork is often conducted outside the classroom? Basedon the work of Patrick Lencioni and other leading authorities on teaming and organizationalpsychology, University of Houston – Downtown has developed a curriculum designed to teachstudents to be both good team members and to provide the internal team leadership needed toresolve common behaviors within dysfunctional teams. Participants will leave the session withinstructional techniques and a model curriculum designed to be embedded into senior-levelengineering capstone or project courses. The curriculum focuses on building team leadershipskills and techniques for addressing challenges such as planning and execution, social loafing,and procrastination. Models for assessing students’ teaming skills and for providing bothsummative and formative feedback to students will be presented.National Leadership Council for Liberal Education & America’s Promise. (2007). CollegeLearning for the New Global Century: Executive Summary. Association of American Collegesand Universities. Washington, DC. (accessed10/1/2010).Lencioni, P. (2005) Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Field Guide for Leaders,Managers, and Facilitators. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

Tzouanas, V., & Campbell, L. (2011, June), The Teamwork Conundrum: What Should be Taught and How Can We Assess Team Learning in Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18817

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