QUANTITATIVE MONITORING IN LEARNING TEAMWORK SKILLS – AN EXPERIENCE ON A DEGREE IN ENGINEERING IN NATURAL RESOURCES
Technical University of Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Teamwork skills and management are highly demanded in the engineering sector. The development of project management tools is well advanced, proof of this are the easy availability of task control software (e.g., Microsoft Project) and the budget monitoring (e.g., Presto). However, monitoring of learning teamwork lacks so widespread tools, despite teamwork is considered an important asset for engineers' career. In addition, the learning of such skills might not be an easy task for some engineering students accustomed to the fields of physics, chemistry and maths but not to social sciences.
A steady monitoring on team dynamics and the development of social skills (e.g., empathy, cooperation, attendance, punctuality and communication) require a detailed tracking of the students along learning activities. Moreover, the teacher cannot take a direct follow-up of activities and tasks of learning teamwork due to most of them are developed off university campus. Thus, teachers need regular information provided by the students themselves.
The Forestry School from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) includes in its Natural Resources Engineering degree a block of learning activities to reach competition in teamwork skills. The syllabus incorporates this block within a fieldwork on faunal censuses, where students work in teams of 4 to 6 people. In each team a member is nominated as "controller", who is responsible for reporting the teacher about the evolution of teamwork attributes. A drawback appears because the assessment of each team member is done by different people, so it is necessary to accommodate the analysis by including the controllers as a new uncertainty source.
This paper analyses the relationship among teamwork rubrics and extracts the major components of learning and the strength of each descriptor on them. Then it clusters different learning patterns according to sex, member composition and role played by the student within the team descriptors.
Keywords: Problem-based learning, team work skills, generic skills.