June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Educational Research and Methods
24.1293.1 - 24.1293.12
Understanding Teaching Assistant’s assessment of individual teamwork performanceTeam-based projects have become a common teaching practice in engineering courses as ameans to simulate real-world environments. In particular within design courses, team-basedprojects allow students to engage in problems that are technically more complex and larger thanone student would be able to tackle, but that can be solved by a group of students workingeffectively together. In these courses, students are often instructed on the technical aspects of theproject material in detail by the course instructor, however they may receive only minimalinstruction on how to function effectively as a team. The burden of diagnosing and assistingstruggling teams, and team-members, often falls to the teaching assistants who work closely withthe students in their teams. These teaching assistants are hired to assess student competence in,and support the development of, the technical or design process components of the project. Theyare not necessarily capable of, or comfortable with, assessing students’ abilities to workeffectively in a team environment.This paper outlines a study of teaching assistants in two first-year cornerstone design courses in alarge engineering faculty in an attempt to understand their ability to assess and support thedevelopment of individual team-effectiveness skills in their students. To determine howindividual student teamwork skills were assessed, teaching assistants were asked to assess eachstudent’s individual teamwork skills using a given model of individual team-effectivenesscompetencies, and were subsequently debriefed on their assessment practice. Teaching assistantscompleted surveys and participated in focus groups to develop a conceptual framework of theirperceptions of effective teamwork in a design context as well as how they would support thedevelopment of students in particular team situations. The reliability and confidence of teachingassistant assessment as well as the way in which teaching assistants used these assessments tosupport students to become more effective team-members will be discussed. Practicalimplications for course design and teaching assistant training will be presented to facilitateenvironments in which effective teamwork can be consciously developed.
Sheridan, P. K., & Reeve, D., & Evans, G. (2014, June), Understanding Teaching Assistants' Assessment of Individual Teamwork Performance Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23226
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