Survey Tools for Faculty to Quickly Assess Multidisciplinary Team Dynamics in Capstone Courses

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Many engineering faculty have limited skills and/or assessment tools to evaluate team dynamics in multidisciplinary team-based capstone courses. Rapidly deployable tools are needed here to provide proactive feedback to teams to facilitate deeper learning. Two surveys were developed based on industrial and organizational psychology theories around desired high performance industry characteristics. A case study experiment was conducted in an architectural engineering capstone. Here, these surveys were deployed in conjunction with traditional qualitative verbal feedback and technical assessments.

Results presented here suggest that capstone teams exhibit high-functioning attributes of effective teams based on the course formulation. Team dynamics evolved as the course progressed naturally and with the help of faculty based on the survey results. Discussions in this paper detail survey development, implementation, and sampled trends to represent how to use and interpret the survey output. Furthermore, best practices for implementing these ideas in other courses is touched on. Evidence is presented to support the surveys as a tool and to show correlations between the results and other technical assignments.

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Ryan Solnosky

Ryan Solnosky

Joshua Fairchild

Joshua Fairchild

 

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