skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Moffat, A. D."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Team- and project-based pedagogies are increasingly normative in engineering education and beyond. Student teamwork holds the promise of developing collaborative skills deemed essential for new engineers by professional accreditation bodies such as ABET. The emphasis on these models, furthermore, reflects developments in pedagogical theory, stressing the importance of experiential learning and the social construction of knowledge, repositioning the instructor as a facilitator and guide. Teamwork in an educational context differs from that in professional contexts in that learning outcomes for all team members – both in terms of technical knowledge and team-working skills – are a primary goal of the activity, even while more tangible task-related outcomes might be the main concern of the students themselves. However, team-based learning also holds the potential for team members to have negative experiences, of which instructors may have little or no awareness, especially in real-time. Teams may achieve team-level outcomes required for successful completion, in spite of uneven levels of participation and contribution. Reduced participation on the part of an individual team member may have many causes, pro-active or reactive: it may be a deliberate refusal to engage, a lack of self-confidence, or a response to hostility from other members, among other possibilities. Inequitable team interactions will lead to uneven uptake of desired learning outcomes. Fostering equity in interactions and identifying inequitable practices among team members is therefore an important part of implementing team-based pedagogies, and an essential first step in identifying and challenging systematic patterns of inequity with regard to members of historically marginalized groups. This paper will therefore explore ways in which equity in group decision-making may be conceptualized and observed, laying the foundations for identifying and addressing inequities in the student experience. It will begin by considering different potential manifestations of interactional equity, surveying notions derived from prior education research in the fields of health, mathematics, engineering, and the natural sciences. These notions include: equity of participation on the basis of quantified vocal contributions (in terms of words, utterances, or clausal units); distribution and evolution of interactional roles; equity of idea endorsement and uptake; distribution of inchargeness and influence; equity of access to positional identities and discourse practices; and team member citizenship. In the paper’s empirical component, we trial measures of equity taken or developed from this literature on a small dataset of transcripts showing verbal interactions between undergraduate student team members in a first-year engineering design course. Some measures will be qualitative and others quantitative, depending on the particular form and manifestation of equity they are designed to examine. Measures include manual coding of speech acts and interactional ‘bids’, statistical measures of utterance frequency and length, and computational approaches to modeling interactional features such as social impact and receptivity. Results are compared with the students’ own reflections on the interactions, taken immediately afterward. Recommendations are made for the application of the measures, both from research and practice perspectives. Keywords: Teamwork, Equity, Interaction, Design 
    more » « less
  2. Gendered differences in academic confidence and self-efficacy between men and women are well-documented. In STEM fields and specifically in engineering, such differences have important consequences in that students low on these constructs are often more prone to leave their degree programs. While this evidence base is fairly established, less is known about the extent to which men and women show differences in confidence of team success, or collective efficacy, which may also be consequential in decisions to join and persist in design team experiences, or even to stay in or leave an engineering major, especially for first-year students. In this analysis, we quantitatively investigated gendered differences in confidence of team success and collective efficacy among first-year engineering students working on semester-long design projects in stable teams. Using a software tool built to support equitable teamwork, survey data on team confidence and collective efficacy was collected for these engineering students as well as for students in other courses for the sake of comparison. Three hierarchical linear models were fit to the data from 1,806 students across 31 unique course/term combinations. The results were mixed. In two of these analyses, we identified significant interactions between gender and team confidence. Specifically, men generally reported higher team confidence scores than women throughout the term with women eventually catching up, and team confidence ratings increased for men but not women following a lesson on imposter syndrome. No gendered differences were observed with respect to a collective efficacy scale administered near the middle and end of the term, however. In all cases, the results were consistent across course type (engineering, business, and others). 
    more » « less
  3. This work-in-progress paper reports on the assessment of an intervention on team communication and decision making processes to see whether such an intervention is related to improvement in the rating of equity of idea contributions. A hierarchical linear model was fit to teamwork data from 3,721 students in 40 courses. We find that students’ reports of equitable idea sharing are actually lower after the intervention than before; we hypothesize that the decreased rating might reflect increased student awareness of inequities rather than a true decrease in equitable idea sharing. This pattern held for most gender and racial groups, with the notable exception of non-binary students, who instead reported greater idea equity post-intervention, though we note the small sample size for this group. Finally, we find that decreases in reported idea sharing were largest when students reported the intervention was “highly relevant” to their team yet “not very helpful”. 
    more » « less
  4. This full paper sets out a methodological protocol for conducting a scoping review of literature relating to teamwork effectiveness and equity. The goal of the study is to understand how academic discourse over the five-year period prior to the study being carried out has conceptualized teamwork success in educational and professional contexts, and to what extent equitable team practices are embedded within such conceptualizations. In line with ongoing initiatives to promote transparency in research, this protocol paper is intended for dissemination prior to the conduct of the study itself. The research context, questions, and rationale are set out, and a detailed methodology described, outlining procedures for data retrieval, screening, extraction, and analysis. The paper concludes with an outline of intended reporting methods for the study, including the reporting of deviations from the procedures set out herein. This paper contributes to the scoping review methodology, and especially its application in the field of engineering education research and education research more broadly. 
    more » « less