Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Page: 3252 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
It is pretty common that students develop works in group during university courses. This is even more frequent when large projects or works have to be done.

The aim of this work is to compare different methods to define the student teams in the subjects of conceptual design and design projects in the degree of engineering in industrial design.

In these subjects the students are asked to design an object working in groups and using several design methods: definition of objectives, functional analysis, generation of ideas, evaluation, etc. etc. The object is defined through the course according to an initial weekly planning.

The different methods to decide in which group is going to work each student are:
- No prescribed method at all: the students are free to group as they wish. Usually, the criteria followed are: friendship, previous experience working together or conditions as living in the same village or flat.
- Heterogeneous groups depending on the thinking style: the 4 brain model test of Herrmann (Herrmann 1991, Herrmann 1996) is applied in order to classify the students in profiles. The groups are made up by joining students from different profiles. In order to determine the brain profile a reduced version of the Herrmann 4 model brain test was applied. This version, developed by Jiménez-Velez (Jiménez Vélez 2003) is composed of 40 items that allow identifying the brain dominances in a quicker and easier way than in the original one.

The Herrmann model of brain divides the brain in left and right hemispheric and in upper (frontal) and lower (limbic) areas, thus considering four areas and four brain profiles:
Profile A (upper and left): logical, analytical, fact-based and quantitative
Profile B (lower, left): organized, sequential, planned and detailed
Profile D (upper, right): holistic, intuitive, integrating, synthesizing
Profile C (lower, right): interpersonal, feeling-based, kinesthetic, and emotional

Leadership skills criteria: a test to identify leaders is applied at the beginning of the course. Then, the rest of the students present their skills and aptitudes to the leaders. These analyzed the candidates and their profiles and selected the members of their teams among them.
The test applied is leadership competences valuation test (Barrantes, 2012), which evaluates nine dimensions: working skills, communication, ethics, planning, used of suitable systems, teaching and advising, supervising and team formation.
Each one of the tree methods to form teams has been analyzed in order to compare which one can be more convenient. First of all, by observing in action the groups performing during the classes. Moreover, a comparison of the results obtained in the groups has also been done and, finally by means of the students opinions. The analysis of the results leads to new insight about how to manage the group formation in class.

[1] Barrantes M. (2012). Test De Valoración De Competencias De Liderazgo., 2012).
[2] Herrmann, N. (1991). The creative brain*. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 25(4), 275-295.
[3] Herrmann, N. (1996). The whole brain business book McGraw-Hill New York, NY.
[4] Jiménez Vélez, C. A. (2003). Neuropedagogía, lúdica y competencias Coop. Editorial Magisterio.
Group formation, industrial design teaching, thinking brain style.