Promoting Teaming Metacognition

Lee K Rynearson, Purdue University


Improving students’ capacity to effectively perform teaming skills is a crucial outcome for engineering education, and has been the subject of considerable prior and ongoing research. Based upon review of research on teaming, it was hypothesized that greater awareness of appropriate opportunities to use teaming skills in authentic contexts would lead to greater teaming skills employment over time. Further, it was hypothesized that greater psychological safety in student teams would lead to more students choosing to employ appropriate teaming skills over time. An intervention to achieve such increases could therefore be expected to promote student teaming skills performance improvement. Seeking to evaluate potential new methods for teaming skills instruction and development in engineering contexts, a suite of interventions was designed to support growth in student metacognition and the promote psychological safety in student teams. This dissertation took the form of a quantitative study implemented in nine sections of the Purdue First-Year Engineering classes ENGR131 (five sections) and ENGR141 (four sections). Multiple psychometric instruments were administered across a semester. Results were investigated to assess the efficacy of the experimental interventions in supporting student teaming metacognition, raising psychological safety, altering relationships between measured variables, and ultimately in raising teaming skills performance. The experimental interventions used in this study incorporate tools and techniques that do not appear to have been previously employed in engineering education. Results suggest that the instrumentation for metacognition was not satisfactory, but that the intervention may have had effects on psychological safety in student teams. These findings are discussed along with directions for further inquiry in the design, implementation, and evaluation of teaming skills instruction.




Diefes-Dux, Purdue University.

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