Work in Progress - Automated Discourse Interventions and Student Teaming

Ray Luechtefeld, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Ralph E. Flori, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Steve Eugene Watkins, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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The ability to successfully work in teams is a crucial part of an engineer's workplace success. Engineering education can be improved through a better understanding of how effective teamwork develops. A (patent pending) software tool that " listens" to team conversations and generates automatic interventions into team discourse can effectively mimic the actions of a skilled facilitator. Automated facilitation tools may help students improve their team skills by providing a simplified model for conversational interventions, which students can readily imitate. This paper describes this tool and presents preliminary findings from student reactions to the tool's use.