Classroom Research

While all ILead research is designed to have educational implications, two of our projects foreground classroom instruction. These projects examine team skills and engineering ethics. We have investigated the team skills of undergraduate students and generated a team effectiveness tool that has been successfully integrated into first year design courses for the past five years. On a smaller scale, we are in the process of designing a case study resource, workshops and coursework to support the ethical decision-making abilities of senior undergraduate engineering students. Please visit our TSpace research repository to view our publications.

Integrating Explicit Team-effectiveness Instruction in Large Classes

This research project focuses on integrating intra-team self- and peer-feedback into team- and project-based courses to help students understand how they behave in their teams and to provide them with the scaffolding to improve their behaviour. The project consists of three phases. Phase One involved analyzing how inventory-based and free form feedback affected students’ efforts to improve their behaviour in teams. Phase Two consisted of implementing our inventory in an online Team-effectiveness Learning System (TELS). The system combines students’ self- and peer-feedback with teamwork lessons and exercises. TELS has been successful in developing student and instructor awareness of, and support for, team learning. Phase Three involves following several teams through their first-year design course to determine how students leverage the behaviours in the inventory to make their teams effective or ineffective. The success of this project has been demonstrated by the integration of TELS in over 10 courses across the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, and through the current commercialisation venture to bring TELS to other universities.

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council have funded this study. Commercialisation of TELS is supported by MaRS Innovation.

Relevant Publications

P.K. Sheridan, G. Evans, and D. Reeve, “A Proposed Framework for Teaching Team-effectiveness in Team-based Projects,” American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, Texas, 2012.

P.K. Sheridan, D. Reeve, and G. Evans, “Guiding useful self- and peer-assessments of team-effectiveness in a first year engineering design course,” Canadian Engineering Education Association, Winnipeg, Canada, 2012.

Evans, Greg J, Reeve, Douglas W, Sheridan, Patricia K, McGuire, Maygan, Minnella, Kristina, Oliva-Fisher, Estelle, Wilkinson, Lydia, McAlary, Todd. (2013). Incorporating team-effectiveness as a learning objective in the design project within a technical core course. Paper presented at the Canadian Engineering Education Association Conference, Montreal, QC.

Sheridan, Patricia K, Reeve, Douglas W, & Evans, Greg J. (2013). Student perceptions and use of an inventory to facilitate learning of individual team-effectiveness. Paper presented at the Canadian Engineering Education Association Conference, Montreal, QC.

Sheridan, Patricia K, El Gammal, Lobna, Phillips, Jennie, Evans, Greg J, & Reeve, Douglas W. (2013). A team-effectiveness inventory for guided reflection and feedback. Paper presented at the American Sciety for Engineeering Education Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, GA.

P.K. Sheridan, P.M. To, G. Evans, and D. Reeve, “An On-line Team-effectiveness Learning System,” Canadian Engineering Education Association, Canmore, Canada, 2014.

Sheridan, Patricia K, Evans, Greg J, & Reeve, Douglas W. (2014). Understanding teaching assistants’ assessment of individual teamwork performance. Paper presented at the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Indianapolis, IN.

Sheridan, Patricia K, Malone, Aidan, Reeve, Douglas W, & Evans, Greg. (2015). Seeing into your teams: An instructor interface to support team learning. Paper presented at the Canadian Engineering Education Association, Hamilton, ON.

Sheridan, Patricia K, Kinnear, Penny, Evans, Greg, & Reeve, Douglas. (2015). The role of “togethering” in developing teamwork relationships and shared meaning. Paper presented at the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, WA.

Sheridan, Patricia K, Evans, Greg, & Reeve, Douglas W. (2015). Teaching team effectiveness in large classrooms. Toronto, ON: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). 1 – 46.

P.K. Sheridan, N. Korhani, G. Evans, and D. Reeve, “Supporting a Class’ Development in Teamwork,” Canadian Engineering Education Association Annual Conference, Halifax, Canada, 2016.

Kinnear, Penny, Sheridan Patricia K, Evans, Greg J, & Reeve, Douglas W. (2016). The role of shared physical space in affording the creation of shared conceptual spaces in design project teams. Paper to be presented at the American Society of Engineering Education Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Kinnear, Penny, Sheridan Patricia K, Evans, Greg J, & Reeve, Douglas W. (2017). Value of language background on developing innovative and diverse ideas during idea generation sessions in first-year engineering design teams. Paper presented at the Canadian Engineering Education Association, Toronto, ON.

Engineering Ethics & Equity Education

This Engineering Instructional Innovation Project (EIIP) is directed at the development of case studies and workshops to facilitate the instruction of ethics and equity in engineering.  Each year, we have conducted 5-7 interviews with professional engineers; generated anonymous case studies on the basis of these interviews and tested the effectiveness of the resulting case studies through classroom workshops and pre-post surveys. The project will result in the development of an accessible repository of case studies to be used by faculty across engineering disciplines. An undergraduate course has been developed and approved on the basis of this research.

The Dean’s Engineering Instructional Innovation Program (EIIP) at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering has funded this project.

Relevant Publications

Rottmann, Cindy, Reeve, Douglas, Sacks, Robin, & Klassen, Mike. (2015). Engineering ethics education: More than a CEAB requirement. Paper presented at the Canadian Engineering Education Association, Hamilton, ON.

Rottmann, Cindy, Sacks, Robin, Simpson, Annie E, & Reeve, Douglas. (2015). Gendering engineering leadership: Aspirations vs. shoulder tapping. Paper presented at the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, WA.