Development of a Tool for Team Formation in Engineering Education

Daniel MBURASEK ◽  

Efficient team formation presents challenges both for the industry and the academia, especially among first year students. In academia, the difficulty is due to a lack of familiarity between instructors and new students at the beginning of each semester while in the industry, the issue is the incomplete picture of new employee’s personality by the supervisors. The quality of the team greatly affects both the team member experience as well as the outcome of assigned projects. There is a strong need to create a tool or a program that allows instructors and supervisors to create effective teams with evenly distributed skills amongst the teams in a timely fashion. Studies show that the balance of skills, rather than the presence of highly skilled individuals, leads to successful teams. The ultimate goal is to create a tool that will give teams the opportunity to operate at their maximum potential. This paper focuses on the creation of teams for first year students of engineering. The outcome is based on the results of a project assigned to a team of second year engineering students. The choice of second year students was dictated by the need to have students who had already experienced the adverse effects of malfunctioning teams during their previous projects. The goal of the project was to design a software and user interface for a tool that instructors could use to create optimal project teams in an efficient manner.

2006 ◽  
Vol 1 (2) ◽  
pp. 12 ◽  
Fei Yu ◽  
Jan Sullivan ◽  
Leith Woodall

Objective - This project sought to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses in locating, retrieving, and citing information in order to deliver information skills workshops more effectively. Methods - Bibliographies submitted from first-year engineering and second- and fourth-year chemical engineering students’ project reports were analysed for the number of items cited, the variety of items cited, and the correct use of citation style. The topics of the project reports were also reviewed to see the relationships between the topics and the items cited. Results - The results show that upper level students cited more items in total than did lower level students in their bibliographies. Second- and fourth-year engineering students cited more books and journal articles than first-year students cited. Web sites were used extensively by all three groups of students, and for some first-year students these were the most frequently used sources. Students from all three groups had difficulties with citation style. Conclusion - There was a clear difference in citation frequency between upper and lower level engineering students. Different strategies of information skills instruction are needed for different levels of students. Librarians and department faculty members need to include good quality Internet resources in their teaching and to change the emphasis from finding information to finding, interpreting, and citing accurately.

2017 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 116
Kimberly Miller

A Review of: Hulseberg, A., & Twait, M. (2016). Sophomores speaking: An exploratory study of student research practices. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 23(2), 130-150. Abstract Objective – To understand sophomore undergraduate students’ research practices. Design – Mixed methods online survey and participant interviews. Setting – A small liberal arts college in the Midwestern United States of America. Subjects – The sample consisted of 660 second-year students; 139 students responded to the survey (21% response rate). In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 of the 139 survey respondents. Methods – A 13-item survey was emailed to sophomore students during October 2012. To analyze the results, the authors and a library student intern developed a coding scheme to apply to open-ended survey questions. Survey respondents could also volunteer for in-depth interviews. A total of 50 survey respondents volunteered, and 14 were invited for in-depth interviews between December 2012 and January 2013. The interview protocol included open-ended questions about students’ research experiences. Students were also asked to identify and discuss one recent research project. Interviews were audio and video recorded; data from one interview was lost due to technology failure, resulting in data analysis of 13 interviews. Interview transcripts were coded by an anthropology doctoral student, the study authors, and a library student assistant. Main Results – The survey found that students completed fewer research projects and used fewer library resources as sophomores than they did as first-year students. For example, only 4.9% (n=7) of students reported completing zero research assignments in their first year, compared with 34.5% (n=48) in their second year. When asked if there were library resources or skills they wanted to know about sooner in their academic career, students’ top reply was “Nothing” (34.5%, n=48), followed by “Navigating the physical space” (15.8%, n=22), “Librarians/staff & reference desk” (11.5%, n=16), and “Effective searching & evaluating sources” (10.8%, n=15). Male and female students’ responses differed, with male students less likely overall to express interest in library resources. While 42.4% (n=59) of students replied that they would consult with a librarian for help with their research projects, this option ranked third after professors (83.5%, n=116) and peers (70.5%, n=98). Again, responses varied by gender, with female students (49.5%, n=49) more likely than male students (26.3%, n=10) to contact a librarian about a research project. Most interview participants replied that searching online, including library resources, was their research starting point. Students most often selected research topics, based on their interest, from a professor-approved list. Students identified “relevant content, familiarity . . . , and credibility” (p. 138) as important source evaluation characteristics. The majority of students also used library information sources in their research, including databases, research guides, and the catalogue. Students most often mentioned struggling with “finding sources/identifying keywords” (n=6) and “finding known items” (n=6). Unlike survey respondents, interview participants unanimously reported consulting with a librarian. Most students (n=11) received library instruction as first-year students, and some suggested that this instruction helped them feel comfortable asking for help. Finally, most students felt that their research habits improved from their first year to their second year, specifically with regards to “their research technique, improved confidence . . . and an expanded source horizon” (p. 143). Conclusion – The authors recommend continuing strong information literacy support to first-year students, as well as working with faculty members and other campus partners to promote reference services to sophomores. When compared to previous research, the current study reports a higher percentage of students seeking librarian assistance; however, because some students also reported confusion about when and how to ask for help, further analysis could explore how reference librarians capitalize on peer and faculty “referral networks” (p. 145). Finding that students face significant challenges early in the research process was consistent with previous research, and future study might reveal more about this specific phenomenon in sophomores. Interviews should also be extended to include students who are non-library users. Finally, the authors suggest that the findings provide no evidence of a “sophomore information literacy slump” (p. 146).

Sajjan Madappady ◽  
Hemant Kumar ◽  
S. Jayaram ◽  
Krutarth Brahmbhatt ◽  
Manjula Anil ◽  

Background: Tobacco kills more than seven million people each year. In India tobacco kills nearly one million people each year and many of these deaths occur among people who are very young. Studies indicate that approximately 70% of all tobacco users would like to quit smoking and tobacco use.Methods: A non-randomized, cross sectional study was conducted in a Medical College in Mangaluru (Karnataka) which included medical students from first year to third year. A module developed by “Quit Tobacco International” was used for the purpose of training and counselling the selected medical students, focusing on the specific effects of tobacco, depicting simulated case scenarios.Results: A total of 404 medical students were included in the study. It was observed that 15.9% males and 5.3% females among first year students, 21.0% males and 5.3% females among second year students and 24.6% males and 9.2% females among third year students had smoked at some point in their life while the among current users, the prevalence of smoking was found to be much higher i.e. 8.7% and 2.6% among first year students, 9.9% and 3.5% among second year students; while it as highest among third year students i.e. 14% and 4.6%; among boys and girls respectively.Conclusions: The study brings out the need for inclusion of structured teaching and training of our medical students on harmful effects of tobacco use and its cessation techniques.

Umar Iqbal ◽  
Deena Salem ◽  
David Strong

The objective of this paper is to document the experience of developing and implementing a second-year course in an engineering professional spine that was developed in a first-tier research university and relies on project-based core courses. The main objective of this spine is to develop the students’ cognitive and employability skills that will allow them to stand out from the crowd of other engineering graduates.The spine was developed and delivered for the first time in the academic year 2010-2011 for first-year general engineering students. In the year 2011-2012, those students joined different programs, and accordingly the second-year course was tailored to align with the different programs’ learning outcomes. This paper discusses the development and implementation of the course in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department.

Peter Dare ◽  
Brian Cooke

A Task Force was created by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of New Brunswick in September 2004 charged with creating a new course for all first year engineering students to be delivered for the first time in September 2005. The course, to be taken by approximately 270 students, was to integrate material from other first year courses, introduce the students to working in teams, contain a substantial design element through a design project, and introduce communication skills. Nine professors from throughout engineering “volunteered” to help develop and deliver the course. In this paper we own up to what we did wrong during the first two years of delivery of this course, and (naturally!) counter this by celebrating our successes. Students are assessed based on a combination of individual and team submissions, with some submissions being oral and others written. This paper will outline the complex assessment scheme we initially used, and how we later simplified it. Rubrics were used to evaluate many of the course assignments. For most of the instructors, this was the first time they had used rubrics and so it was a learning experience to both develop and apply them. We show how we adapted their use in the second year of delivery after the experiences of the first year. We were pleased with the way that the assessments were mostly built around the design project – this helped the students grasp why clear communication is vital and enabled them to obtain continual feedback on the project. We were also delighted that an element of social responsibility was introduced into the course by making the project an international “Engineers Without Borders” project based in Africa. We believe this added an additional dimension to the course and especially the project. The professor-delivered skits were especially popular! Delivered by two wannabe actors, they introduced the students in a humorous manner to the different types of engineering that are taught at UNB. Engineering students at UNB have to commit to their specific engineering field from their first day at UNB, so these skits were included to ensure the students were exposed to all the UNB engineering disciplines. We conclude the paper with our plans for delivery of the course in September 2007 and beyond.

Brian Dick ◽  
Thai Son Nguyen ◽  
Mackenzie Sillem

Engineering graduates increasingly find that they are part of teams that draw a multi-disciplinary membership across a broad range of cultural, socio-economic, and linguistic backgrounds. Although engineering students often have the opportunity to participate in international projects (e.g. co-operative education programs, study abroad), formal international field schools are not typical within engineering curricula, particularly at the first- and second-year level. To provide an early introduction to intercultural perspectives, first-year engineering students at Vancouver Island University (VIU) participated in a field school at Tra Vinh University (TVU) in Tra Vinh Province, Vietnam over a period of three weeks. This field school consisted of a number of cultural and engineering activities, and involved pairing of students at both TVU and VIU for the duration of the experience. To measure student response during the field school, participating VIU students completed the on-line Intercultural Effectiveness Scale questionnaire pre- and post-experience. Students at both institutions also completed reflection exercises throughout the three-week period. This feedback suggested each student pairing continuously developed skills necessary to overcome linguistic, cultural, and technical barriers to learning and growing over their time together. Students described an enhanced understanding of self, and an increased likelihood to further participate in intercultural experiences. 

Mohamed Galaleldin ◽  
Justine Boudreau ◽  
Hanan Anis

Engineering design courses often include a team-based project. Project-based learning offers a great opportunity for engineering students to learn about teamwork and collaboration. It also gives students a chance to learn about themselves and improve their conflict management skills. Choosing the right team members for a specific project is not trivial, as the choice of the team often affects the project outcome and the students’ experience in the course. Moreover, there is a debate among engineering educators as to whether it is better to force team composition or not. In this paper, we investigate the impact of team composition and formation on project outcomes and student satisfaction in a second-year engineering design course at the University of Ottawa. The course is open to all engineering students and has an accessibility theme. Students work in teams with a client that has a specific accessibility need. Students meet the client three times during the semester and deliver a physical prototype by the end of the semester. For this study, students in the design course were divided into two groups. Students in the first group were allowed to pick their teams, while the instructor created the teams in the second group based on multidisciplinary composition and year of study. Both groups had the same instructor and the same course material, labs, project choices, etc. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a few teams in each group.

2020 ◽  
pp. 1-11
Marina Viktorovna Rostovtseva ◽  
Natal'ya Alekseevna Goncharevich ◽  
Ol'ga Valer'evna Shaidurova ◽  
Igor' Anatol'evich Kovalevich

The subject of this research is educational motivation of the first-year and second-year students of vocational school. The author puts forward an assumption that the second-year students have higher motivation towards learning than the first-year students. This related to the completion of adaptation period and maturing of students, as well as with formation of the responsible professional stance on their future. The conducted research confirmed the advanced hypothesis. The motives for learning highlighted by the second-year students are associated mostly with the current issues of educational activity. The author also underlines the greater importance of motives pertinent to professional competences and professional activity among the second-year students. The main conclusion lies in the thesis that motives for learning indicated by the first-year students are characterized by expectancy, temporary farness of the result, and are merely associated with the current problems. These results reveal the considerable importance of the remote and abstract learning goals for the first-year students. The author detects a trend that acquisition of knowledge is more significant that professional skills in the learning process. Moreover, in course of time, the motive for acquiring knowledge acquires more currency among the students of vocational school.

2008 ◽  
Vol 56 (5) ◽  
pp. 111-114
Masami TSUNEKAWA ◽  
Mayumi ITO ◽  

Sign in / Sign up

Export Citation Format

Share Document