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Teaching teamwork in engineering and computer science

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Teamwork is recognized as an important skill for engineering and computer science professionals. Both potential employers and accrediting agencies, such as ABET, expect students to gain proficiency in teamwork skills through experiential learning. Teamwork based projects challenge the student to apply the technical knowledge they gain in school to solve meaningful and complex problems. However, to be truly proficient in teamwork, a student must also learn and practice a large number of peripheral skills. These include planning, estimating, tracking progress, taking corrective actions, managing change, controlling and managing risks, maintaining ethical and professional conduct, communicating complex ideas clearly and concisely, using design automation tools, leveraging web-based tools for team collaboration, and most importantly participating effectively as team members. It is essential that students should be taught these important skills. It is unlikely that without adequate faculty guidance students can pick up these skills through ad-hoc project experience. Yet, many engineering and computer science programs expect the students to do just that. We feel strongly that we need to employ a more pragmatic approach in teaching students the skills necessary to function as effective and productive team members. Additionally, we need to develop criteria for assessing the effectiveness of teaching teamwork and the tools to measure learning outcomes. Among the problems contributing to this situation are the following: engineering and computer science instructors themselves often have had little or no experience operating in teams; training or guidance in effective ways to teach teamwork is seldom provided; and tools and effective approaches to assist in the teaching and assessment of teamwork are lacking. Another problem is that, it takes a great deal of faculty time, effort and energy to guide groups of students in doing effective teamwork. We will describe an approach that we have used to teach team collaboration skills using free and freely available web-based tools. Students learn to use tools for design automation, metrics collection, project management, and web-based collaboration. Our approach encourages students to learn teamwork skills and improves levels of collaboration among team members while reducing demands on faculty time and effort. Use of web-based collaboration tools allows students to participate without the need for frequent face-to-face meetings; this our students love. In an effort to maximize the use of techniques like the ones described in this paper, we hold regular informal sessions of interested faculty to share ideas on improving teaching teamwork and to develop methods and tools for assessment. The paper and the conference presentation will describe both our approach and the results we have obtained.
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Teaching Teamwork in Engineering and Computer
Science
Robert Lingard and Shan Barkataki
California State University, Northridge, rlingard@csun.edu, shan@csun.edu
Abstract - Teamwork is recognized as an important skill
for engineering and computer science professionals.
Both potential employers and accrediting agencies, such
as ABET, expect students to gain proficiency in
teamwork skills through experiential learning.
Teamwork based projects challenge the student to apply
the technical knowledge they gain in school to solve
meaningful and complex problems. However, to be truly
proficient in teamwork, a student must also learn and
practice a large number of peripheral skills. These
include planning, estimating, tracking progress, taking
corrective actions, managing change, controlling and
managing risks, maintaining ethical and professional
conduct, communicating complex ideas clearly and
concisely, using design automation tools, leveraging
web-based tools for team collaboration, and most
importantly participating effectively as team members.
It is essential that students should be taught these
important skills. It is unlikely that without adequate
faculty guidance students can pick up these skills
through ad-hoc project experience. Yet, many
engineering and computer science programs expect the
students to do just that. We feel strongly that we need to
employ a more pragmatic approach in teaching students
the skills necessary to function as effective and
productive team members. Additionally, we need to
develop criteria for assessing the effectiveness of teaching
teamwork and the tools to measure learning outcomes.
Among the problems contributing to this situation are
the following: engineering and computer science
instructors themselves often have had little or no
experience operating in teams; training or guidance in
effective ways to teach teamwork is seldom provided;
and tools and effective approaches to assist in the
teaching and assessment of teamwork are lacking.
Another problem is that, it takes a great deal of faculty
time, effort and energy to guide groups of students in
doing effective teamwork. We will describe an approach
that we have used to teach team collaboration skills using
free and freely available web-based tools. Students
learn to use tools for design automation, metrics
collection, project management, and web-based
collaboration. Our approach encourages students to
learn teamwork skills and improves levels of
collaboration among team members while reducing
demands on faculty time and effort. Use of web-based
collaboration tools allows students to participate without
the need for frequent face-to-face meetings; this our
students love. In an effort to maximize the use of
techniques like the ones described in this paper, we hold
regular informal sessions of interested faculty to share
ideas on improving teaching teamwork and to develop
methods and tools for assessment. The paper and the
conference presentation will describe both our approach
and the results we have obtained.
Index Terms Teamwork, experiential learning, assessment,
agile process, web-based collaboration
INTRODUCTION
Few would dispute the importance of teamwork as a learning
outcome for students in engineering and computer science.
Engineering is by nature a collaborative process, and most
production systems are designed by teams working over
long periods of time. Those who employ the graduates from
these programs look for these skills, and the Accreditation
Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) demands
them [1]. In a recent article in IEEE-USA Today's Engineer
Online, Ben Amaba, a worldwide executive for IBM
Complex Systems, was asked what employers are looking
for in today’s software engineers [2]. He responded by
saying "Software engineers need good communication skills,
both spoken and written. They need an analytical capability,
and they need to be able to manage a project from end to end
while working well with their colleagues." Communication
and teamwork skills are increasingly being sought when
hiring engineering and computer science graduates.
Unfortunately most programs do little to teach these
skills. Typically, they give students many opportunities to
participate in team projects, but they do little to help students
develop or improve specific teamwork skills. The
assumption is that experience is the best teacher, that
students when given sufficient opportunity to participate in
team activities will learn how to be effective team members
on their own. This is not the case. In fact, studies have
shown that being members of ineffective teams actually
negatively affects student’s attitudes about the benefits of
teamwork [3]. There is a need to be more proactive in the
teaching of teamwork skills.
Through assessments conducted to measure the extent
to which our students are exhibiting effective teamwork
skills, we have discovered specific areas where improvement
is needed. This paper explains the assessment results and
describes a promising approach we have taken to improve
student learning with respect to teamwork skills. In
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addition, we discuss an ongoing effort in the college to allow
faculty members to share successes and challenges with
respect to the teaching of teamwork.
TEAMWORK ASSESSMENT RESULTS
In an effort to better understand what teamwork skills our
students seemed to be learning and which ones they were not
mastering, we conducted peer reviews among the students
participating in team projects. Students were asked to rate
their fellow team members with respect to the following list
of team skills. The survey was done anonymously and all
team members were asked to rate each member of their
team, including themselves, as to whether that member:
Attended meetings and arrived promptly
Completed individual assignments on time
Performed research and gathered information when
necessary
Completed tasks with high quality
Accomplished a fair share of the work
Communicated clearly with other team members
Introduced new ideas
Openly expressed opinions
Shared opinions and knowledge
Listened to views and opinions of others
Considered the suggestions of others
Adopted suggestions of others when appropriate
Provided help to others on the team
Asked for help from others on the team
Was committed to team goals
Showed respect for other team members
Distinguished between the important and the trivial
(The details of the creation of this assessment instrument and
an analysis of the assessment results are documented in an
earlier paper [4].)
The table below shows the three items that scored the
highest and the three that scored the lowest at the time this
peer assessment was done. The score indicates the
percentage of all ratings of all students who achieved that
outcome. While the items at the top of the list suggest that
students complete their individual tasks well, those at the
bottom suggest that students are challenged when it comes to
collaboration skills. They tend not to help one another or to
ask for help when they needed it, and they often fail to
communicate with each other when required. The academic
environment that has long encouraged students to work
independently, and not to cheat by asking for help or
sharing answers with another student, might be partially
responsible for this tendency. Whatever the reason, students
need to develop these collaboration skills in order to become
effective team members
The following sections describe an approach we
developed using Yahoo/Google groups and other freely
available tools to encourage or, more precisely, demand,
greater student collaboration. This approach has proven to
have promise in improving students’ abilities with respect to
collaboration. Additionally, it facilitates the assessment of
these skills.
TABLE
ACHIEVEMENT OF TEAMWORK SKILLS
Teamwork Attribute
Percent
Achieved
Demonstrate an ability to do
research and gather information
96.3%
Generally tried to listen to views
and opinions of others
86.4%
Generally complete individual
assignments on time
84.1%
. . .
Communicate clearly with other
team members
68.1%
Help others on the team
66.4%
Ask for help from others on the
team
63.9%
CHALLENGES IN INTRODUCING TEAMWORK INTO
REGULAR CLASSES
We maintain that teamwork should be used not just in
capstone classes, but in any class involving analysis, design,
implementation, and testing. In industry, teamwork is the
norm; most engineers must adapt to working as members of
a team. In contrast, college students often prefer working
alone rather than in a team. Students view team projects as
risky assignments, where the individual has little control
over the final outcome, leading to potentially lower grades.
Our observation is that there are good reasons for this
concern. We have observed team projects degrade to
anarchy, devoid of plans and schedules. In some teams, a
small subgroup emerges that does most of the work.
Disorganized, non-functioning teams have a tendency to fail
simply by floating, producing no work products. When the
due date looms, faltering projects exhibit a tendency to form
tiger teams that work long hours over days and weekends in
an attempt to produce some marginally acceptable work
products to salvage the project. Students do not learn team
collaboration skills in any of the cases described above.
From the faculty perspective, introducing team projects
in a lecture-discussion class can appear to be a daunting
prospect. Teaching principles of teamwork in a class
discussion is easy. On the other hand, managing multiple
teams of students actually engaged in different projects
could be overwhelming. Giving quizzes or assigning term
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papers seem far more attractive than managing teamwork
assignments.
SUCCESS FACTORS FOR SUCCESSFUL TEAMWORK
Over the years we have found that there are certain key
factors that are important for achieving student success in
team projects. These are:
1. Agile, self-organizing teams.
2. Well defined project objectives.
3. Cohesive teams.
4. Project asset library.
5. Team communication.
6. Project planning, execution, and tracking.
7. Engaging all members of the team.
8. Avoiding ceremony.
AGILE, SELF-ORGANIZING TEAMS
Our experience is that a process framework based on the
agile development practices works best in the classroom
environment [5]. It is very difficult for a single faculty
member to manage five or six teams. Therefore, it is
essential to encourage teams to follow the agile principles
and be self organizing, self managing and self motivated for
success.
In keeping with the Agile philosophy each team takes
total responsibility for both developing the project work
products and for managing the development process.
We deviate somewhat from the rigid Agile Manifesto
[6] in two important ways. First, we do not overemphasize
the role of working code. We consider the various analysis,
design and test work products as legitimate deliverables.
Examples of such work products are: use-case models, static
models (class/object diagrams), dynamic models (sequence
diagrams), and test descriptions. Second, we require the
teams to use a modern CASE tool to capture all work
products, rather than using a collection of ad-hoc tools or
producing hand drawn artifacts.
WELL DEFINED PROJECT OBJECTIVES
We have found that a set of well defined project objectives is
essential for keeping student projects focused and capturing
student interest. However, rather than presenting the
students with a concrete set of project objectives, we like the
idea of letting the students develop the project objectives for
themselves. Our practice is to start by giving the students a
straw man version of a challenging problem. We set
homework assignments involving analysis of the problem.
Students are encouraged to study the problem; create
scenarios and use cases, and conduct trade studies. These
initial assignments are done individually because we like
each student to comprehend the core problem to be solved.
We ask the students to find issues such as essential features
that are missing from the straw man version and also
identify features that may be too difficult to implement.
Additionally, we ask the students to offer suggestions for
incorporating features that are commonly available in similar
products which they discover through conducting trade
studies. All solutions and ideas are posted online for all
students to read and discuss with each other. We then hold
an informal requirements conference involving all students,
where various ideas are discussed, and good ideas are
harvested. At this point students jointly create a tin man
version of the project objectives which is released for
general discussion and review. This lasts for a week. At this
point another requirements conference is held in which the
final project objectives are established and placed under
change control. The document describing the revised
objectives is called the iron man specification.
At this point the class is divided into a number of small
project teams, with team sizes varying from 4 to 8 students,
the ideal size being 6 students. Each team is assigned to
solve the same problem. This arrangement gives rise to a
degree of competitiveness within the teams and brings some
real-world flavor to the classroom projects. Each team starts
by developing a set of testable requirements, traceable to the
project objectives. These requirements are peer reviewed,
approved by the team as a whole, and placed under change
control. As the development progresses, both the project
objectives and the requirements are allowed to evolve under
change control, however all major changes require
agreement of the faculty and other teams. Whenever any
such significant change is approved by all stakeholders, all
participating teams are required to adopt it in their own
work; this keeps the teams synchronized.
COHESIVE TEAMS
Completing a challenging teamwork project in a competitive
environment and with strict deadlines is not a simple task.
Therefore, it is beneficial to have cohesive teams that can
work together under pressure. Unfortunately, there is little
opportunity for building team spirit when students meet only
one day a week. To overcome this problem we have set up
a web based facility that allows students to form cohesive
project teams by recruiting team members from within their
existing friend circles. We limit the size of each team.
Other than that, students have the opportunity to audition
various teams and join a team of their choosing. Leveraging
team formation on existing friendship pathways facilitates
better team communication and also gets the teams up and
running quicker.
PROJECT ASSET LIBRARY (PAL)
We set up a Yahoo or Google group for each team and invite
members to join the group. Each team creates a PAL for
storing the team work products and designates a librarian
who administers the PAL. All members have visibility to
the PAL, however, only the complete and team-approved
work products can be placed in the PAL. Therefore, only
the PAL librarian is allowed to write data to the PAL.
Although the faculty retains ownership of each
Yahoo/Google group, moderator authority is delegated to
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two student members within each team, thereby relieving the
faculty from ordinary group management chores.
Each team member also has a Personal Product Library
(PPL). All products created by an individual team member
are placed in his/her PPL. This is the case even when the
member might be producing a final deliverable product that
is destined to be placed in the PAL. This rule is important
because each team member’s contribution is evaluated by an
examination of the products found in his/her PPL; whereas
the overall team performance is evaluated by an examination
of the products in the PAL. For conducting peer reviews
and for promoting team collaboration, each member within a
team has full visibility to PPLs belonging to other members
within his/her team.
Both the PPLs and the PAL are created following a well
defined folder structure and a strict naming convention.
This rule makes it easy for anyone to search and locate
specific products within the PAL and the PPLs.
TEAM COMMUNICATION
Almost all agile processes, including SCRUM and XP, call
for holding face to face meetings of developers to plan work,
discuss issues and find solutions. The popular SCRUM
agile process mandates daily short meetings (scrums). We
found this particular agile practice difficult to follow,
because most of our lecture-discussion classes meet only
once or twice a week, making it impractical to hold frequent
face-to-face meetings. Therefore, out of necessity, we rely
on web-based communications rather than face-to-face
meetings. Web-based communications provide several
advantages that face-to-face meetings do not provide.
The Yahoo/Google group also serves as the common
communication platform. All team members communicate
exclusively through messages posted in the group site.
External communications via emails and phone calls are
possible, however all such conversations are required to be
summarized and documented as group messages. This rule
allows all team members to view and participate in the
discussions.
The trail of the posted messages provides a “permanent”
record of all team communications which comes in handy in
a variety of situations. Additionally, a quick review of the
message logs and PPLs allows faculty to determine if proper
team collaboration is occurring and also to provide timely
intervention for students who are performing below par.
PROJECT PLANNING, EXECUTION, AND TRACKING
In keeping with the agile principles each team creates a
loosely defined high-level work breakdown structure and an
associated long term schedule. These artifacts are expected
to evolve as new requirements and constraints are
discovered.
The project work progresses in two weekly sprint cycles
as defined in the SCRUM agile process [5]. At the
completion of each sprint cycle the team is expected to
deliver a set of specified products. To achieve this each
team creates detailed plans and schedules for the activities to
be performed and products to be produced within each sprint
cycle. Specific responsibilities for the various tasks to be
performed and products produced are assigned to each team
member.
The team takes full responsibility for planning,
executing, and tracking activities within the sprint cycles.
Students review progress against the sprint plan and take
remedial actions as appropriate. In accordance with the
principles of SCRUM, the sprint cycles are time boxed, i.e.,
the two weekly sprint cycles are never extended. Tasks that
remain incomplete in a given sprint cycle have to be
completed in a future one. When problems like this develop,
all related communications are automatically logged in
Yahoo/Google group message trails; faculty can review
these messages to get early warning of potential problems.
The long term schedule and the project objectives are
reviewed at the end of each sprint cycle. Any significant
deviation from the approved project objectives requires
faculty approval, and agreement of all teams. Given that all
teams are expected to complete the iron man project
objectives, our experience is that teams rarely agree to make
any major changes that introduce schedule risks.
ENGAGING ALL MEMBERS OF THE TEAM
Emergence of Team Heroes is a phenomenon that often
develops in uncontrolled and unsupervised teams. Team
heroes consist of a small number of capable alpha students
who take over the project, make all the technical and
management decisions, and perform all the tasks. Other
team members find it a daunting task to question the
decisions made by the apparent super heroes and go along
for a free ride. To the non-participating student this
arrangement looks like a win-win arrangement because from
the outside, s/he appears to be a member of a team that
completes the project and gets good grades. To avoid this
problem we require that each team member assume
responsibility for a significant task in each sprint cycle. At
the start of a sprint cycle each member is assigned a task that
involves some amount of development activity such as
analysis, design, implementation, or testing. Each member
is also assigned responsibilities for peer reviewing work
produced by other team members. All products, including
peer review comments are preserved in folders that all
members can see. We actively discourage team members
from doing the same type of work in each sprint cycle. The
very nature of this process ensures that all team members are
engaged in the project tasks and also mitigates the risk of the
Team Hero syndrome taking hold.
AVOIDING CEREMONY
Most classroom team projects have to be completed within a
strict deadline that leaves little time for making formal
presentations or writing long documents. Our observation is
that when such tasks are assigned, students spend entirely
too much time in preparing fancy presentations or writing
detailed documents. While both written and oral
communication are extremely important, these activities can
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detract from doing team-based technical work which is the
primary objective of team projects. Given that the team
members get a good exposure to the work products through
peer reviews and discussions, we avoid formal presentations.
All technical work products are captured in a CASE tool that
can generate some types of reports automatically. Therefore,
we do not ask for long technical reports as part of the project
deliverables. Many other opportunities are provided within
the program for students to develop their formal
communication skills. In particular, when the department or
the college wants to showcase student achievements, we
help students produce presentations and demonstrations.
However, these activities are not considered part of the team
project tasks.
ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT COLLABORATION SKILLS
One of the advantages in using Yahoo/Google groups as a
teaching tool for student collaboration is that it results in
well-documented evidence of the extent of communication
among team members. The faculty can easily monitor the
degree and quality of student collaboration during a team
project, and after the project is completed, the documented
record of team activities can be analyzed to assess the
achievement of student learning outcomes with respect to
teamwork. Assessing teamwork skills has usually depended
primarily on the subjective opinions of the faculty, often
based on the assumption that the production of a successful
product meant that all team members exhibited good
teamwork skills. The approach we have outlined produces a
recorded account of the collaboration among team members
from which a more accurate assessment of each team
members collaboration skills can be determined.
Furthermore, this assessment can be done by faculty or
others not directly associated with the class in which the
team projects were assigned. This adds a much more object
flavor to assessment process.
SHARING TEAMWORK TEACHING EXPERIENCES AMONG
COLLEGE FACULTY
This paper has presented one idea for improving the learning
of teamwork skills. As we have discovered, many faculty
members in the college have developed approaches for
addressing various aspects of the problems associated with
teaching teamwork. In an effort to share successes and
challenges within the college, we have organized informal,
but regularly scheduled meetings, where faculty can discuss
ways to improve student learning with respect to teamwork.
To further broaden the discussion, members of our Industrial
Advisory Board are periodically invited to our meetings in
order to provide industry perspectives on teamwork.
Individual faculty members have developed many tools
and techniques for teaching teamwork, but like our students,
we tend not to share our ideas with one another or to ask
others for help. These sessions have provided a way to
improve collaboration among faculty. We are improving
teamwork among faculty in an effort to improve team
collaboration among our students. These meetings have
been going on for only about a year but have already
produced results in terms of raising the faculty
consciousness regarding the importance of developing
teamwork skills among our students and in transferring
useful tools and techniques among the faculty. In
particular, the specific approach outlined in this paper of
using web-based tools to aid in teaching student
collaboration has recently been adopted by other faculty in
the college, and we will soon be able to evaluate their
experiences.
CONCLUSIONS
We have utilized the process and techniques described here
in conducting student team projects in both undergraduate
and graduate classes. These techniques are particularly
useful in running team projects in regular lecture discussion
classes that attempt to reinforce the course material with
teamwork based experiential learning. Our experience is
that the process and methods described here result in greater
levels of student participation in teamwork projects while
providing faculty with an insight into the team progress, and
the degree collaboration among the team members. Using
agile methods and encouraging self-organizing teams permit
faculty to assign fairly complex project tasks without getting
overwhelmed by tasks associated with managing the teams.
REFERENCES
[1] Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., “Criteria
for Accrediting Engineering Programs”, www.abet.org/, ABET, 2011.
[2] Platt, John R., “Career Focus: Software Engineering”, IEEE-USA
Today's Engineer Online, March 2011,
www.todaysengineer.org/2011/Mar/career-focus.asp
[3] Aldridge, M. D., et al, Introduction to team-based design for students
in engineering, business, and industrial design”, Final report to the
National Science Foundation, 1996.
[4] Lingard, Robert, “Teaching and Assessing Teamwork in Engineering
and Computer Science, Proc. International Symposium on
Engineering Education and Educational Technologies: EEET
2009, Orlando, FL, July 2009.
[5] Cohn, Mike, “Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using
Scrum”, Addison-Wesley Professional, 2009.
[6] Beck, Kent, et al, “Manifesto for Agile Software Development”,
http://agilemanifesto.org/, 2001.
AUTHOR INFORMATION
Robert Lingard, Professor, California State University,
Northridge, rlingard@csun.edu.
Shan Barkataki, Professor, California State University,
Northridge, shan@csun.edu.
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Design Thinking has the potential to train the soft skills of preservice teachers who will need to continuously design their future towards sustainable education. However, Design Thinking is intrinsically complex, and managing its learning and projects with large groups is not straightforward, especially in remote situations such as COVID-19. From collaborative work among disciplines, this study introduces a Design Thinking-based board to improve the implementation and management of remote design projects. This board was applied with university-level preservice teachers who worked in teams to design instructional materials for preschool. We assessed the perception of the usefulness of the board by the preservice teachers and the teachers responsible for their training, using mixed methods in two consecutive courses. The board was perceived as helpful in developing design projects and improving collaborative learning. It was beneficial for the management, monitoring, and communication, enriching the project process and outcomes. From the achieved learning, we provide guidelines for designing and using these boards to aid educators and researchers in integrating Design Thinking and developing practical and sustainable solutions. This study contributes to the natural integration of Design Thinking and technology in preservice teachers’ education with a replicable and flexible process, improving the quality of education for future generations.
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Historically, education is a highly competitive environment, where an individual is deemed successful based on high marks attained individually. The ability to work effectively in teams is an important learning objective for final-year undergraduate students. When undertaking group projects, undergraduate students are expected to collaborate effectively and solve real-world problems in groups of three or more individuals. Teamwork skills are among the highly desired soft skills recruiters struggle to find among many university graduates. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether gamification can aid in developing teamwork skills in undergraduate students. Following the design science research methodology, two games were developed. The first game is a computer-based cycling game for a single player, with concepts related to teamwork skills forming part of the in-play questions. The second game is a computer-based King of the Mountain-type game, played as a team. In order to move from one level of the Mountain to the next, players would need to answer general trivia questions, in addition to applying teamwork skills to specific questions. Each team was encouraged to come up with its own strategy to achieve the best results. There was no limit to the number of attempts players made in each game. Data was collected during play and via a questionnaire administered upon completion of the games. The results show that students found the games to be engaging and enjoyable. After a few attempts, a number of students noted that they felt part of the team and perceived that the games would enhance their teamwork skills. Participants felt that the games enhanced their team dynamics and that their desire to see their team succeed increased the more they played together. The results show potential for utilising gamification as a means to enhance students’ teamwork skills.
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The University of Sydney has introduced a program of engaging engineering students throughout their degree program in diverse forms of exposure to, and engagement with, professional practice. As part of this program students are required to write detailed reflections on each activity. These reflections provide a rich source of information regarding students’ level of conceptual understanding and the extent of consideration of different professional competencies. This article reports on research that uses this data in exploring the relationship between students’ academic performance and the nature of their reflections on a broad range of professional engagement activities. A large set of student reflections (N=8,628, totalling approximately 3.5 million words) completed by N=1,633 students was thematically coded against both Blooms taxonomy and the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency standards. These results were then compared to students’ academic results. Reflections were dominated by verbs associated with level 3 (apply) and level 6 (create) of Blooms taxonomy, reflecting the focus on making within the Engineering discipline. Reflections related to design activities exhibited the highest levels of cognitive complexity, whereas activities emphasising understanding tended to rank the lowest in complexity. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a significant correlation between the dominant Bloom level of the students’ reflections and the academic performance (or improvement) of the students, nor was their academic performance correlated with a stronger tendency towards undertaking activities that emphasised particular competencies. The results highlight the importance of design during professional engagement activities in encouraging higher levels of reflection.
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To be successful in today's workplace, engineering and computer science students must possess high levels of teamwork skills. Unfortunately, most engineering programs provide little or no specific instruction in this area. This paper outlines an assessment-driven approach toward teaching teamwork skills. Working with the Industrial Advisory Board for the College, a set of performance criteria for teamwork was developed. This set of criteria was used to build an assessment instrument to measure the extent to which students are able to achieve the necessary skills. This set of criteria provides a clear basis for the development of an approach toward teaching teamwork skills. Furthermore, the results from the assessment can be used to adjust the teaching techniques to address the particular skills where students show some weaknesses. Although this effort is in the early stages, the approach seems promising and will be improved over time.
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Proven, 100% Practical Guidance for Making Scrum and Agile Work in Any Organization This is the definitive, realistic, actionable guide to starting fast with Scrum and agileand then succeeding over the long haul. Leading agile consultant and practitioner Mike Cohn presents detailed recommendations, powerful tips, and real-world case studies drawn from his unparalleled experience helping hundreds of software organizations make Scrum and agile work. Succeeding with Agile is for pragmatic software professionals who want real answers to the most difficult challenges they face in implementing Scrum. Cohn covers every facet of the transition: getting started, helping individuals transition to new roles, structuring teams, scaling up, working with a distributed team, and finally, implementing effective metrics and continuous improvement. Throughout, Cohn presents Things to Try Now sections based on his most successful advice. Complementary Objection sections reproduce typical conversations with those resisting change and offer practical guidance for addressing their concerns. Coverage includes Practical ways to get started immediatelyand get good fast Overcoming individual resistance to the changes Scrum requires Staffing Scrum projects and building effective teams Establishing improvement communities of people who are passionate about driving change Choosing which agile technical practices to use or experiment with Leading self-organizing teams Making the most of Scrum sprints, planning, and quality techniques Scaling Scrum to distributed, multiteam projects Using Scrum on projects with complex sequential processes or challenging compliance and governance requirements Understanding Scrums impact on HR, facilities, and project management Whether you've completed a few sprints or multiple agile projects and whatever your rolemanager, developer, coach, ScrumMaster, product owner, analyst, team lead, or project leadthis book will help you succeed with your very next project. Then, it will help you go much further: It will help you transform your entire development organization.
Career Focus: Software Engineering IEEE-USA Today's Engineer Online
  • John R Platt
Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs
  • Accreditation Board
  • Engineering
  • Technology
  • Inc
Introduction to team-based design for students in engineering, business, and industrial design
  • M D Aldridge
Aldridge, M. D., et al, "Introduction to team-based design for students in engineering, business, and industrial design", Final report to the National Science Foundation, 1996.