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Using Peer Evaluation to Assess Individual Performance in Team Projects for Freshmen Engineering Students in the Middle East

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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

First-year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1627.1 - 22.1627.10



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Paper Authors


Ghada Salama, Ph.D. Texas A&M University, Qatar

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Lecturer at Texas A&M, Chemical Engineering Program

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Beena Ahmed Texas A&M University at Qatar

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The Development of an Individual Assessment Process in Team Projects for Freshmen Engineering Students in the Middle EastThe Foundations of Engineering I is a freshman course aimed at introducing all new students tothe profession of engineering. This course introduces the students to the fundamental concepts ofproblem solving and engineering design, which lie at the heart of all engineering disciplines. Asin today’s world most engineering projects are completed by teams, it is imperative that thestudents understand what teamwork is at an early stage. Most of the incoming freshmen studentshave had limited exposure to teamwork in their high school careers, hence they need to beprovided with the opportunity to develop these skills and be given appropriate feedback tools. Inour global age, the need to interact with individuals from different cultures and disciplines isinevitable, therefore teamwork skills are considered of utmost importance. These include strongleadership, effective communication, proper decision-making and conflict management. Theseskills might not come naturally to certain individuals and need to be cultivated.In this course, the freshmen engineering are introduced to team work through group activitiesand projects. However, assessing individual student contributions to a group project is a difficulttask. In this paper, the authors will present the range of assessment instruments used and theireffectiveness. Also to be discussed will be experiences in conducting group projects forfreshmen, the assessment process and how the team members interpreted each others’performance. The results using standard peer evaluation techniques to assess individualperformance in group projects will also be presented.Peer assessments are successful when students know what is expected of them and have a correctunderstanding of their goals and benefits. We found that our students were not amiable to givingtheir critical opinions of each others’ performance. Due to the culture of the local and regionalbackground of students, they have a different perception on peer evaluations. Influenced by theircultural background, most students felt obliged to give their teammates a less critical evaluationof their group working skills.The authors will discuss the pedagogical approach used to develop alternative assessmentmethodologies to remedy the situation and the results obtained. These results will be analyzedand the effectiveness of these techniques in evaluating individual student performance discussed.We will show how these methodologies provided us with a better picture of the “inside story” ofthe collaborative work performed by our students.

Ph.D., G. S., & Ahmed, B. (2011, June), Using Peer Evaluation to Assess Individual Performance in Team Projects for Freshmen Engineering Students in the Middle East Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18703

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