Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 122nd American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference


The critical importance of effective teamwork in engineering is widely recognized. Surprisingly, however, relatively little is known about how to develop teamwork skills in higher education classes, including what factors contribute to effective teamwork, their relative importance in a team's overall performance, and the underlying individual and interpersonal dynamics. Increasing numbers of engineering instructors are adopting instructional practices relying on teamwork, yet many instructors simply form student teams and hope the members individually and collectively learn on their own how to work in teams and succeed in their task(s). Instructors do this because they do not have guidance for a better approach. This research project aims to address this gap in faculty knowledge.

The empirical studies conducted as part of this project build on research in engineering education, cognitive psychology, social psychology, and other fields in a coordinated large-scale research project that will provide faculty with needed knowledge and tools to ensure that students learn team skills. The research team is conducting seven separate studies measuring the impact of teamwork training, experience working in teams, practice rating the teamwork of fictitious team members, and giving and receiving peer feedback. The research is measuring each of these effects in real teams on three learning outcomes: improved teamwork knowledge, improved ability to evaluate teamwork, and improved ability to function effectively in teams. These studies will result in practical recommendations for time-pressed faculty to implement.


ASEE grants authors and their employers’ permission to post conference proceedings on authors’ personal websites and institutional repositories. Conference proceeding obtained from the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition site.