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Title: Impact of Student/Team Characteristics on Design Project Outcomes in Senior Design Courses
Ability to effectively work in teams is one of the desired outcomes of engineering and engineering technology programs. Unfortunately, working in teams is still challenging for many students. Rather than contributing to team projects, some students resort to social loafing. Social loafing tends to destroy both teamwork performance and individual learning, especially in solving ill-structured problems, such as design. Furthermore, a bad experience on a past team is a significant concern as it could generate negative feelings toward future team projects. Formation of collaborative teams is a critical first step in team-project-based design courses as team composition directly affects not only teamwork processes and outcomes, but also teamwork skills and experience. This NSF-IUSE sponsored project aims to enhance students’ teamwork experiences and teamwork learning through 1) understanding how to form better student design teams and 2) identifying exercises that will effectively improve team member collaboration. We do this by comparing student characteristics and design task characteristics with the quality of the design team outcome, and examining the resulting correlations. Student characteristics cover six categories: 1) background information, 2) work structure preferences, 3) personality, 4) ability, 5) motivation, and 6) attitude. Task characteristics and design team outcomes are characterized using the Creative Product Semantic Scale. In this article, we present correlations between student/team characteristics and design project outcome, and correlations between task characteristics and design project outcome for 2020-2021 senior design teams at two institutions. For both institutions, we will present correlations between individual student characteristics and team outcome. For one institution, we will also present correlation between team-level characteristics and team outcomes.  more » « less
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ASEE Annual Conference proceedings
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National Science Foundation
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