Masters Theses


"This thesis proposes a methodology for the development and use of computer based tools to enhance student team dynamics. Working effectively in groups cannot be taught in class room environment. Students often encounter conflicts during team meetings. Although some conflicts are resolved by the efforts of team members, an unbiased facilitator who is not a member of the team is often needed to help. This work proposes a tool that uses role play simulations to engage students in real-life scenarios so that they gain a practical, as well as a theoretical, understanding of how to work effectively as a team. The students play roles in the simulations to learn about team dynamics. To assist students in their discussion, a virtual facilitator is incorporated into the system to intervene in student discussions. A set of rules is loaded in the knowledge base of the virtual facilitator, which helps the students understand each others needs and streamlines the communication among them. The rules are based on various theories of conflict management. The system is robust and intelligent enough to monitor conversations among students and to provide unbiased interventions. This computationally intelligent tool is available online for the benefit of students working in conflict management and effective communication all over the world. The use of such computer applications can improve the effectiveness of students working in teams, thus increasing team efficiency at low cost"--Abstract, page iv.


Luechtefeld, Ray

Committee Member(s)

Watkins, Steve Eugene, 1960-
Cudney, Elizabeth A.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Management


National Science Foundation (U.S.)


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2009

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Development of intelligent web-based tool to support role play simulations
  • Development of virtual tools to enhance team facilitation


ix, 51 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2009 Vachaspathy Kuntamukkala, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Role playing -- Computer simulation -- Design
Teams in the workplace
Teams in the workplace -- Data processing
Group work in education
Conflict management

Thesis Number

T 10248

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #