The development of communication skills is a necessary preparation for effective engineering teamwork. Argyris' "Theory of Action" provides a framework for understanding patterns in team dialogue. Students can benefit from an awareness of these patterns. The theory highlights the detection and correction of errors by sharing information during group collaboration and interactions. Quality decision-making can be enhanced when members of a team develop high degrees of openness and interdependence. Quality decision-making can be diminished when members of a team regulate the information shared within the team. This work analyzes team interactions from simulation games used in an interdisciplinary engineering course as a team training exercise. Communication patterns of the student teams are selected that model effective and ineffective behaviors. Positive and negative excerpts from actual student interactions are discussed as instructional vehicles for student training on teamwork skills and for guiding student understanding of simulation game dynamics.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Second Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Computer Simulation; Decision Making; Dynamic Tests; Engineering Education; Error Correction; Error Detection; Simulation

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2006 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.