Teamwork

There are 3 reasons for the requirement to work in teams in this class:

  1. Research has shown that people learn better when working with others, as opposed to working in isolation or competing against each other. This is a very important observation, especially considering the expectation that all of us need to continue learning long after we leave school and teamwork provides a great vehicle for this purpose.
  2. You need to learn and practice team and small group communication skills, both of which are important tools for pursuing a successful career in engineering.
  3. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), that sets the standards for engineering programs in the US, specified in its Engineering Criteria 2000, that engineering graduates should be able to function on multidisciplinary teams.

You have 2 responsibilities as a team member:

  1. to learn your assigned material and perform your individual task, and
  2. to teach your material to your teammmates.

Do you want to find out how good of a team leader you are?

Take one or all of these tests online:
Leadership Motivation Assessment
Leadership Self-Assessment

Team Organization

Teams will be assigned by the instructor at the beginning of each design project. You must stay with the same team throughout the project, unless instructed otherwise. If you do experience problems working with your team, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Members must work together and contribute equally in all team assignments. If your name appears on a paper turned in by your team, it certifies that you have participated in, and fully understand the work involved.

Sometimes, during problem-solving in class, you will be asked to work with new partners. Please take the opportunity to get to know your classmates.

Each team must have a:

Team Captain

  1. Keep the process enjoyable and rewarding for all team members.
  2. Make sure each and every member participates and performs within their role.
  3. Guide the discussion and keep members focused on task.
  4. Manage time, stress and conflict.
  5. Ensure that all team members can articulate what has been learned.
  6. Contribute to the team and actively learn.
  7. Maintain accountability for the overall performance of the team.

Team Recorder

  1. Record instructions and each member's role at the beginning of a task.
  2. Document legibly and accurately team ideas, discoveries, answers and questions into a "Recorder's Journal."
  3. Prepare a report which can be used for discussion purposes when required.
  4. Integrate and synthesize when several ideas are presented.
  5. Control information flow, articulate concepts in alternative forms, if necessary.
  6. Maintain accountability for the quality of the team's report. Keep in mind that the recorder's report will be used by the spokesperson for the team's oral report and by all members for any further work on this task.
  7. Contribute to the team and actively learn.

Team Spokeperson

  1. Speak for the team when called to do so.
  2. Ask questions posed by the team or request clarification.
  3. Use the recorder's journal to share the team's discoveries and insights.
  4. Collaborate periodically with the recorder.
  5. Contribute to the team and actively learn.

Team Reflector

  1. Observe performance, interactions, and the dynamics among team members.
  2. Be a good listener and observer.
  3. Analyze and record team strengths, improvements needed, and insights into a "Reflector's Journal." Evaluations must be written positively and constructively.
  4. Maintain accountability for the overall quality of the "Reflector's Journal."
  5. Intervene with observations about the process and suggest strategies for change.
  6. Remind the captain of his/her duties.
  7. Contribute to the team and actively learn.

Each and every time the team is working on a task. The roles must be rotated among the team members every time the team starts on a new task, so that every member has an opportunity to practice each of these roles several times.

Peer Evaluation of Team Members

At the end of each project, each team must submit along with their project report, each member's peer evaluation of the other members. Each peer evaluation form must be placed in a separate, sealed envelope. All peer evaluation forms must be included in the team's project report. Individual student grades will be the product of the team's project grade and his/her average score from all the peer review forms.If you disagree with the scores you receive from your peers, you may provide an explanation in writing and request an individual exam on the assignment.

Team Processing

Each team needs to reflect on a regular basis on what they do well and what they need to improve and how to improve.

Team Assignment

  1. List all the things you think you are doing well (in regards to the team process) when working as a team.
  2. List at least one thing you could do better when working as a team and provide ways you can improve in these areas.

Individual Assignment

  1. List all the things you think you are doing well (in regards to the team process) when working in your team.
  2. List at least one thing you could do better when working in your team and provide ways you can improve in these areas.