Student perceptions on the impact of formative peer team member effectiveness evaluation in an introductory design course

Nathan Mentzer, Andrew Jackson, Kevin Andrew Richards, Angelika N. Zissimopoulos, Dawn Laux

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Student Perceptions on the Impact of Formative Peer Team Member Effectiveness Evaluation in an Introductory Design CourseCooperative learning abilities are important for engineering students to develop. It is essentialthat graduates are able to work in a team and make valuable contributions to the team’s work.The inclusion of cooperative learning in the classroom provides opportunities to develop theseskills, but the impact of critically evaluating and providing constructive feedback for teammembers is challenging to measure. Peer team member effectiveness evaluation has beenidentified by previous research as a complement of teamwork that can increase accountability,social skills, and group processing and minimize disruptive behaviors. Previous work has shownthat the incorporation of formative peer team member evaluation can not only help with theseconcerns but also improves student attitudes when used as a tool during a team design project.Despite improvements in student performance, learning climate and competence (demonstratedin previous research), the underlying reasons for student growth are unclear. This study seeks toanswer the question, "Why does formative peer evaluation work to impact students?"In response to the prompt, "Please describe the impact peer evaluation (CATME) had on yourcontribution to the team's work" survey responses from 450 students were qualitatively analyzedto identify emerging themes. Multiple iterations produced a set of four broad themes based onstudent perceptions on the impact of a peer evaluation tool. The primary results align with thebasic psychological needs identified by Deci and Ryan as part of Self-Determination Theory.Students reported an appreciation of peer evaluation as a tool for self-evaluation, increasedaccountability during autonomous work, promoting change in behavior, and improving overallteam function. Findings from this study promote the use of formative peer evaluation as a tool ingroup design activities as a method for improving student performance and self-reflection.Qualitative findings suggest a relationship between peer evaluation and growth in studentautonomy and relatedness; further work is being done to investigate the relationshipquantitatively.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Volume122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society
Issue number122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for...
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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