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Forming effective culturally diverse work teams in project courses

Becky Bergman (Institutionen för vetenskapens kommunikation och lärande) ; Anthony Norman (Institutionen för vetenskapens kommunikation och lärande) ; Carl Johan Carlsson (Institutionen för vetenskapens kommunikation och lärande) ; Daniel Nåfors (Institutionen för produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Produktionssystem) ; Anders Skoogh (Institutionen för produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Produktionssystem)
13th international CDIO conference proceedings CDIO, June 18-22 2017, Calgary (1796-9964). Vol. 2017 (2017), 13, p. 508-518.
[Konferensbidrag, refereegranskat]

A culturally diverse student population at Master’s level is a reality at many universities today, as it is at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. However, a common issue is the lack of interaction between home and international students, which counteracts university goals of fostering intercultural cooperation. This paper will discuss and evaluate a pilot project in one Master’s program in production engineering, where activities around group diversity were integrated into a company-based project course. Students were assigned groups where a mixture of backgrounds and expertise were prioritised. The project used a number of group dynamics activities including a pre-survey of expectations of group work; negotiating a group contract; and continuous peer group assessment in order to develop and reflect on the skills required in a culturally diverse work team. From reflective essays that students wrote, as well as interviews carried out, the project and tasks were evaluated. The following themes were identified: attitudes to diversity; the importance of well-functioning communication; and attitudes and roles within the group. Results show that students found this a challenging but useful environment to work in and found the group dynamics activities helpful in negotiating this environment. Continuous peer group assessment, in particular, was seen as helpful in providing a forum for feedback and discussion on individual performance in the group and challenges for the group as a whole. Recommendations include constructive alignment within the program in terms of clear goals, activities and assessment, in order to build up these skills and awareness, not only in a single course but throughout the program.

Nyckelord: Culturally diverse groups, project courses, team-member assessment, Standards 3,7,8



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Denna post skapades 2018-01-08.
CPL Pubid: 254325

 

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Institutioner (Chalmers)

Institutionen för vetenskapens kommunikation och lärande
Institutionen för produkt- och produktionsutveckling, Produktionssystem (2005-2017)

Ämnesområden

Produktion
Arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi
Pedagogiskt arbete

Chalmers infrastruktur