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Two Student Workshops on Identifying and Resolving Teamwork Conflict

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Endeavors: Engineering and Liberal Arts

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35406

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35406

Download Count

192

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Paper Authors

biography

Rania Al-Hammoud P.Eng. University of Waterloo

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Dr. Al-Hammoud is a Faculty lecturer (Graduate Attributes) in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Al-Hammoud has a passion for teaching where she continuously seeks new technologies to involve students in their learning process. She is actively involved in the Ideas Clinic, a major experiential learning initiative at the University of Waterloo. She is also responsible for developing a process and assessing graduate attributes at the department to target areas for improvement in the curriculum. This resulted in several publications in this educational research areas.
Dr. Al-Hammoud won the "Ameet and Meena Chakma award for exceptional teaching by a student” in 2014 and the "Engineering Society Teaching Award" in 2016 and the "Outstanding Performance Award" in 2018 from University of Waterloo. Her students regard her as an innovative teacher who continuously introduces new ideas to the classroom that increases their engagement.

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biography

Maria Barichello University of Waterloo

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Maria Barichello is an Academic Development Specialist in the Student Success Office at the University of Waterloo.

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Christopher Rennick University of Waterloo Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1682-3311

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Mr. Christopher Rennick received his B.A.Sc., Honours Electrical Engineering in 2007 and his M.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering in 2009, both from the University of Windsor, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Chris is currently a PhD student in Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo.
Since 2010, he has been employed with the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada as teaching staff.

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biography

Erin Jobidon University of Waterloo

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Academic Development Specialist

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Richard Li University of Waterloo

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Richard Li works at the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at the University of Waterloo. As the CTE Liaison for Faculty of Engineering, he works closely with Engineering instructors to support their teaching development.

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Abstract

Conflict is a natural part of working in teams, yet students are not typically given formal instruction on conflict management. Many students thus lack the knowledge, skill, and confidence to identify and/or resolve conflict. The university of X (UX) has developed a series of six-teamwork workshops delivered to engineering students at different undergraduate academic levels to help progress the different aspects of teamwork. The workshops wrap around existing team projects in courses; students can thus authentically apply what they have learned in the workshops to their current or future teams. This paper focuses on two out of the six workshops: “Introduction to Conflict” and “Conflict Resolution”. The paper will describe the iterations that these workshops have undergone as well as classroom implementation and evaluation.

The first workshop uses Tuckman’s stages of team development (forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning) to introduce students to the natural progression of team formation and functionality. While the objective of many teams may be to avoid conflict at all costs, conflict, and the storming phase can play an important role in improving team performance if it is understood and appropriately managed. This workshop focuses on improving communication within the team in order to mitigate conflict. Students are introduced to the D.E.S.C. model as a framework for handling difficult conversations, in which students D.: Describe the difficulty, E.: Express how the behavior is affecting the team, S.: Specify desired outcomes/behavior changes, C.: state Consequences if changes are not made.

The second workshop introduces students to different types of conflict-handling strategies based on the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. The five styles include accommodating, avoiding, collaborating, competing, and compromising. Each team receives a scenario which provides two perspectives on a conflict. Students learn to identify and list the factors that may contribute to or cause the conflict, then identify and list which attributes seem to be lacking and contributing to conflict within the team. They then consider the possible positive and negative outcomes of each of the five conflict handling styles which leads them to choose the most appropriate handling style and related strategies.

These workshops were implemented 13 times since 2017 across five different engineering programs. Based on the students’ feedback through online surveys, reflection and classroom observations, the workshops were found to be helpful for improving team cohesion and resolving conflicts.

Al-Hammoud, R., & Barichello, M., & Rennick, C., & Jobidon, E., & Li, R. (2020, June), Two Student Workshops on Identifying and Resolving Teamwork Conflict Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35406

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