Campus: Clarkson University

8. Team Design: Skills Survey

Educator: Jan DeWaters; College of Engineering
Context: In-class; Engineering & Society
Keywords: design teams, group activity, teams, professional skills
Student Activity Time: 5-10 minutes in-class

Students reflected on their strengths and weakness to help determine roles on the team.

Introducing the Reflection Activity

In an introduction to engineering course, first-year students engaged in a variety of activities to better prepare them for their academic career in engineering. Part of the course included students learning how to better work in teams. Before a team design project, students reflected on their skills, assessing their strengths and weakness. The purpose of this reflection activity was to support students in assigning group tasks and to enhance their experience working on a team design project.

At the start of a team design project, the educator talked to students about teamwork and what it meant to work on teams. The educator then engaged students in forming groups for the project. Then students took a few minutes in class to take a skills survey to help them define roles in the team design project. Finally, the design teams used this information to help them establish their individual places on the teams and form team rules. Then the educator collected the surveys to aggregate the results and share them with the class. This information allowed students to see how their own skills compare with the rest of the class as a whole.

In terms of outcomes, through engaging in this reflection activity students may better understand their strengths and weakness. The skills survey results help students organize tasks within their teams, so that they can work together more efficiently and the team functions more smoothly. When working in future teams, students may have a tool to form effective and efficient teams.

 Recreating the Reflection Activity

Step Description
1 Prepare students to form groups for the design team project.
2 Introduce the idea that DIVERSITY is very important to an effective team.
3 Discuss with students the skills survey and then engage students in taking the skills survey.
4 Collect, aggregate, and share the results with students.
In the words of the Educator: Tips and Inspiration

Foster students’ interest in the class material. It is easy for students to lose interest in the course, so figure out ways to interests them in the course material. One way is to use reflection activities that ask students to reflect on themselves, such as this skills assessment reflection.

What was the inspiration for the reflection activity? This reflection activity is based on literature about teamwork.


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