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Using Peer Evaluations For Design Team Effectiveness

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.479.1 - 2.479.8



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Elizabeth A. Eschenbach

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2553

Using Peer Evaluations for Design Team Effectiveness

Elizabeth A. Eschenbach Humboldt State University

Abstract All Humboldt State University Environmental Resources Engineering (ERE) students are required to take ENGR 111: Introduction to Design. The course has no prerequisites and requires students to work in teams of 3 to 5 students on a 10 week long design project. An hour a week is spent on team building skills during the first 4 weeks of the semester. During the fifth week of the semester, the design project and the design teams are assigned.

Three weeks into the project, each student has a 15 minute conference with the class instructor. During the conference, the student presents a team evaluation on a computer disk, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the team and all team members (including him or herself). Then the student and the instructor discuss ways to improve team productivity. The instructor gives the student hints on how to write a more descriptive evaluation.

At the end of the semester, each team member turns in a self evaluation and peer evaluation of all team members on a disk. The evaluations from all team members are combined and then split into summary evaluations, one for each team member. A summary evaluation is returned to each team member during the final period of the class. The summary evaluation only contains evaluations discussing general team dynamics and the strengths and weaknesses of that one team member.

This paper describes the peer review process used in teaching ENGR 111: Introduction to Design. An example of a midterm peer evaluation is provided. The paper will present how both students and instructor benefit from the peer evaluation process.

Previous Use of Peer Evaluations to Assess Team Work Effectiveness Though their use has not been well documented, peer evaluations have been used in engineering education as well as other disciplines. Rhinehart [1] provides a description of a junior level chemical engineering transport course, which is team project based. He uses a group member evaluation form to assess team work.

Some other disciplines that have used peer evaluations for enhancing team work include Journalism [2], Business [3] and English [4]. Johnson [2] had a junior level advertising class work in teams to develop an extensive quantitative team evaluation form. The students listed the following categories as the most important: Attendance, Time on Project, Quality of Work, Communication with Team, Team Player, and Shows Initiative. Holter [3] develops a peer evaluation method for implementing a formal method to remove irresponsible team members from a team. Singh-Gupta and Troutt-Ervin [4] review literature on collaborative writing and discuss how peer review techniques can be used in group writing projects.

Eschenbach, E. A. (1997, June), Using Peer Evaluations For Design Team Effectiveness Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6882

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