Workshop - Building Reflective Team Skills with a T-Group

Ray Luechtefeld, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Steve Eugene Watkins, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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ABET criteria require that engineering graduates have the ability to "function on multidisciplinary teams" and "communicate effectively". An important component of these skills is the ability to reflect on one's personal actions and the dynamics occurring within the group. This workshop is intended to provide participants with a practical exercise that can help students become more self-reflective and aware of group dynamics, while demonstrating the use of the "virtual facilitator" system to improve group dialogue. The workshop will engage the participants in a self- directed learning exercise modeled after T-Groups. This exercise will help participants: 1) Become aware of their own patterns of behavior 2) Learn about the impact of their behavior on others 3) Evaluate the impact of others' behavior on one's self 4) Become more effective in interpersonal interactions During the exercise participants may use a computationally intelligent "virtual facilitator". It can be used in student exercises or project teams to help students learn communication skills. This workshop will be of interest to engineering educators who desire to incorporate learner-centered approaches to learning but have found that their students need to gain awareness of team dynamics. It will be of particular interest to those open to non-traditional methods.