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ERIC Number: EJ1076132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1941-1766
Design and Validation of a Web-Based System for Assigning Members to Teams Using Instructor-Specified Criteria
Layton, Richard A.; Loughry, Misty L.; Ohland, Matthew W.; Ricco, George D.
Advances in Engineering Education, v2 n1 Spr 2010
A significant body of research identifies a large number of team composition characteristics that affect the success of individuals and teams in cooperative learning and project-based team environments. Controlling these factors when assigning students to teams should result in improved learning experiences. However, it is very difficult for instructors to consider more than a few criteria when assigning teams, particularly in large classes. As a result, most instructors allow students to self-select teams, randomly assign teams, or, at best, balance teams on a very limited number of criteria. This paper describes the design of "Team-Maker," a web-based software tool that surveys students about criteria that instructors want to use when creating teams and uses a max-min heuristic to determine team assignments based on distribution criteria specified by the instructor. The "Team-Maker" system was validated by comparing the team assignments generated by the "Team-Maker" software to assignments made by experienced faculty members using the same criteria. This validation experiment showed that "Team-Maker" consistently met the specified criteria more closely than the faculty members. We suggest that "Team-Maker" can be used in combination with the "Comprehensive Assessment of Team-Member Effectiveness" ("CATME") peer evaluation instrument to form a powerful faculty support system for team-based and cooperative learning and for a variety of research purposes. Internet access to both the "Team-Maker" and "CATME" systems is freely available to college faculty in all disciplines by selecting the "request faculty account" button at
American Society for Engineering Education. 1818 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 412-624-6815; Fax: 412-624-1108; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE-0817403