IMPACTS ON TEAMWORK PERFORMANCE FOR AN ENGINEERING CAPSTONE IN EMERGENCY REMOTE TEACHING

Brandi Brown, Miguel Fudolig, Tami M. Brown-Brandl, Deepak R. Keshwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The onset of the global pandemic forced universities to rapidly shift to emergency remote teaching (ERT), which could cause even more perturbations for engineering courses with a hands-on, project-oriented focus. Thus, the purpose of this project was to gain a data-driven appreciation of how teamwork performance was impacted for engineering students in this environment and recommend focus areas for instructional designers. The Comprehensive Assessment for Team- Member Effectiveness (CATME) tool was used to assess different aspects of teamwork performance for 108 students in an undergraduate engineering capstone course during an in-person course offered in 2019-2020 (pre-pandemic) and an ERT course offered in 2020-2021 at a major Midwestern university. The classes were divided into teams for their capstone projects using the CATME Team-Maker tool. Students were asked to rate their teammates at the beginning, middle, and end of the course across five CATME dimensions: (1) Contribution to Team's Work, (2) Interacting with Teammates, (3) Keeping the Team on Track, (4) Expecting Quality, and (5) Having Relevant Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). Statistical modeling was implemented to decipher how ratings differed throughout the year in each course as well as to identify specific CATME areas that varied between the in-person and ERT courses. A qualitative assessment was also implemented for the ERT course based on student responses to a prompt that asked them to comment on how the pandemic impacted their personal and team performance. Results revealed that engineering students showed a significant reduction in three categories in the ERT course compared to in-person: Contributing to Team's Work, Expecting Quality, and Having Relevant KSAs. Interestingly, these three categories deal largely with student motivation toward team efforts, which was echoed in the qualitative assessment. The majority of alarming comments made by students were regarding not being able to build camaraderie with their teammates in the ERT environment. It was surprising to find that engineering students found this lack of team camaraderie even more challenging than the limitations on testing their designs. Thus, more data-driven analyses are necessary to examine which methods and technologies are ideal for teleworking project-based courses in terms of facilitating team bonding, helping teams brainstorm, and fostering more engaging communication between team members. Future efforts should build upon this exploratory study and employ a larger sample size so that results can be generalized to all courses and also provide insight into disparities between subpopulations such as race, gender, or international status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the ASABE
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • CATME
  • Capstone
  • Emergency Remote Teaching
  • Evidence-based
  • Pandemic
  • Pedagogy
  • Peer evaluation
  • Teamwork
  • Telework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Biomedical Engineering

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