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WIP: Using a teamwork model to manage large teams in a large lecture

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 2: Curriculum and the Classroom

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Homero Murzi The University of Queenslad Orcid 16x16

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Homero currently is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Engineering Education at the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Queensland. Homero holds a PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech, an MBA from Temple University, and a Master and Bachelor in Industrial Engineering from the National University of Tachira in Venezuela.

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Jurij Karlovsek The University of Queensland


Bianey Ruiz University of Táchira - Venezuela

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BIANEY C. RUIZ-ULLOA: Full Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Tachira – Venezuela. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska –Lincoln in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering. She holds a M.S. degree in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a M.B.A. and B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the National University of Tachira – Venezuela. Her research interests are teamwork, quality management systems, and organizational change. She worked for nine years in the manufacturing and service industry as an Industrial Engineer prior to her academic career.

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Lilianny Virguez Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Lilianny Virguez is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She holds a master's degree in Management Systems Engineering. She has work experience in engineering and has taught engineering courses at the first-year level.Her research interests include motivation to succeed in engineering with a focus on first-year students.

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omar perez

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WIP: Using a teamwork model to manage large teams in a large lecture

Keywords: teamwork, design, large teams, large lecture, teamwork effectiveness

Despite calls to promote teamwork as “an indispensable quality for engineering” (Lingard & Barkataki, 2011) engineering schools have been generally slow in developing pedagogies that successfully promote collaborative behaviors. For companies, one way to increase their productivity and being more competitive is by having employees that can effectively work with others. However, organizations recognize that new employees do not bring adequate teaming skills to the workplace (S. Adams & Ruiz, 2004). In engineering classrooms teamwork is seen by most of the engineering students as a requirement of a course in order to get a grade, rather than as a skill that they need to master to become effective engineers. Part of the problem is that students are selected and assigned to teams with the expectation that they will know how to effectively work with others, without providing any previous teamwork training.

Students need to be able to develop the competencies, knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards effective teamwork that allow them to become effective team contributors when they face the demands of the job market. Hence, teamwork’s purpose goes beyond assigning a task to a group of people to achieve a goal. Teamwork has a bigger purpose, to create synergy that allows the team to provide with the most effective way to solve a problem.

The purpose of this research is to implement a teamwork effectiveness model to manage large teams in a large lecture to promote teamwork competencies in engineering students. Our focus was to provide structured team training addressing required individual and team competencies, designed under instructional strategies that allow individuals the opportunity to experience real team situations (a problem-based design project) and have time for reflection on their learning process.

In order to provide the training and support we used the “Model for the development and assessment of teamwork” proposed by S. G. Adams, Vena, Ruiz-Ulloa, and Pereira (2002). According to the authors highly effective teams exhibit certain characteristics described as constructs in their model (i.e. common purpose, clearly defined goals, psychological safety, role clarity, mature communication, productive conflict resolution, and accountable interdependence). We provided students with a course design that helped us implement that model to train the students on how to develop the competencies they require, without losing the main focus of the class that is to develop problem-solving and design skills.

Teamwork effectiveness was measured by the Team Effectiveness Questionaire in a pre-and-post test. Results suggest that providing training had a positive impact in every teamwork construct in the students, and helped them overcome the challenges of working in large teams.

Murzi, H., & Karlovsek, J., & Ruiz, B., & Virguez, L., & perez, O. (2017, June), WIP: Using a teamwork model to manage large teams in a large lecture Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29133

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