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Factors of a Successful Team in a Capstone Course

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  • “A team process known as the meetings-flow (MF) approach has recently been introduced in software capstone projects in engineering programs ... at various institutions...The results revealed that MF significantly enhances a team's communication and coordination and balances members' contributions by giving mutual support and effort. It has relatively less influence, however, on student team cohesion.” (p.201)

  • “Wikis were set up for teams of engineering students from different disciplinary backgrounds and years...Wikis were considered a potentially useful ...tool to track engagement for Capstone design projects in engineering subjects.” (p.247) “Overall, the first cohort of students perceived the wiki to be a useful tool, with 62% of the cohort agreeing or strongly agreeing that it enhanced collaboration...This connection between activity and perceived usefulness implies either those who use a wiki regularly are more likely to perceive it as useful for collaboration, or that those who perceive it as useful are more likely to regularly contribute.” (p.258)

  • “Our experiences convinced us that the cooperative learning approach both enhanced our students’ understanding of these topics and encouraged ... them to incorporate the associated skills into their working skill set. Including team exercises that dealt with various steps in the design process provided a “jump-start” on these unfamiliar activities in a structured, short duration exercise environment in class. Listening to presentations by other teams and reviewing and discussing another team’s results as a part of the team exercises provided an opportunity to see and think about different formulations of the problem they just considered.” (p.413)

  • Approaches to evaluating individual students within the group include student distribution of grade points within a group (peer evaluation), peer ... evaluation of project tasks and group maintenance tasks (peer evaluation), multiplying the group grade by an individual weighting (instructor/self peer/group evaluation), group grade plus/minus individual contribution grade (instructor/self/peer/group evaluation), shared group grade with instructor intervention where necessary (instructor evaluation).

  • “Relational coordination was measured by the Relational Coordination survey; team climate by the Team Climate Inventory and questions were ... asked about participation in multidisciplinary team meetings and disciplines represented in these meetings...The number of disciplines represented during multidisciplinary team meetings and team climate were positively related with relational coordination. The multilevel analysis showed a positive relationship between the number of disciplines represented during multidisciplinary team meetings and team climate with relational coordination.” (p.791)

  • “Diversity in respect to the nationalities in the group was related to poorer performance...The results suggest that groups made up of students of ... different nationalities tend to have lower grades compared to homogeneous groups. In contrast, having a group with a mix of GPAs can result in higher grades on the project.” (p.913)

  • “The struggle to coordinate group processes and tasks is a common challenge in collaborative problem-solving environments (Barron, 2000; Kim & ... Hannafin, 2011)...Other tensions among students related to self-regulation, participation, and individual accountability in student dynamics.” (Project Leadership, para.1) “Scott (2014) delineates this dynamic in the team level characteristic she named Learning Team collaboration. This characteristic includes three elements: (1) sharing responsibility for learning and action; (2) questioning and challenging ideas; and (3) climate of openness, trust and encouragement. (Enable Group Self-Organization, para.1)

  • “The exercise, conducted over one or two class meetings, allows students to learn about well-balanced team construction, present themselves to ... their classmates, interview each other, and choose who they would like to work with without the restrictions of seat proximity or prior connection. Results show students perceived that their teams were more available for meetings and exhibited more cohesiveness and higher performance than previous project teams, and strongly preferred this method.” (p.1)

  • “The team-building workshop consists of one hour of instructor-led discussion designed to have students: (1) examine differences in individual ... personalities and preferred work styles; (2) identify the opportunities and obstacles that these individual differences pose for team performance and (3) explore ways to successfully work together to take advantage of the opportunities to avoid the obstacles to achieve successful team performance.” (p.140) During the course of the semester, each student received three evaluations of his or her individual performance from fellow team members based on their team’s contracts.” (p.141) “Students overwhelmingly reported a positive perception of their team performance and a positive attitude toward academic teamwork in general.” (p.142)

  • “This study investigates the influence of teaching leadership skills in the capstone marketing course on students’ performance in group projects ......Students exposed to leadership concepts in the capstone marketing course rated their peers higher on leadership skills and performed better on the group project.” (p.141)

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