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Enhancing teaming skills in engineering students through team training

Bianey Cristina Ruiz Ulloa, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The potential successful use of teams in the workplace has motivated organizations to desire teaming skills in new employees. Although employers may be willing to provide on the job training, they expect that their new employees, at least, possess the understanding of why teaming skills are important to the organization. As result, the corporate environment has created pressure on higher education institutions to prepare students to be effective team players. ^ Active learning approaches have been used by faculty of higher education institutions to promote teamwork among students. Results from studies about the use of these approaches have found that these activities have helped students to see the benefits of working in teams. However, negative experiences in the process have also discouraged both students and teachers from continuing to use teams in the classroom. ^ Among the tools used by active learning practitioners, group dynamic activities have been the tools that have been used the most to help individuals to work in team. Group dynamic activities are focused on achieving a good relationship among team members rather than training team members on the importance of understanding what being a real team means, and how team members can manage difficulties in the teaming process. In order to achieve the understanding of what a real team means, and how team members can manage difficulties in the process of teaming, a structured team training program, the Effective Team Player (ETP)-Training Program (TP), was developed and tested on engineering management students at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. ^ Descriptive statistics and qualitative data from research subjects reported that training improved their teaming skills. However, comparative analyses were unable to statistically verify the positive impact training had on student teams' effectiveness. A replication of this study taking into account the suggestions from this research experience will provide the opportunity to validate the effectiveness of the Effective Team Player-Training Program. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Ruiz Ulloa, Bianey Cristina, "Enhancing teaming skills in engineering students through team training" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3126965.