Improvement of Individual Learning and Instructor’s Role for Better Team Learning

Improvement of Individual Learning and Instructor’s Role for Better Team Learning

L. Tran, M. Dam, T. NGUYEN (2014).  Improvement of Individual Learning and Instructor’s Role for Better Team Learning. 15.

Applying and improving the active learning and teaching model is always an important component in improving the quality of education within the CDIO framework. In this paper, we focus our analysis on a series of observations, interviews and focus group sessions about the pros and cons of individual learning as well as those of team learning in the university so as to propose a number of methods to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of students’ learning in coursework and projects.

Despite all the good things being said about team learning, there is always a discrepancy in the progress of task completion among students because of their different background and knowledge. Therefore, an emphasis has been placed on the development of interpersonal and personal skills in team building. The purpose is to help students bridge the gap in their communication: to overcome personal fears in team interactions, to accommodate with different human characters, and to become more open to others’ opinions. However, through our systematic observations, in the end, the top students in most teams still excel other students and try to impose their ideas upon others. This hinders the benefit of active team learning and teaching, and many students even commented that they did not recognize much benefit from the general CDIO approach. Through a series of additional observations and interviews, we have realized that we need to allow for certain periods during the week, in which students will carry out individual learning through structured settings. Individual learning space, individual checklists, individual brainstorm tactics were set up and introduced to a sample of 200 students in four senior classes of different majors, including Software Engineering, Information Systems, Civil Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. In addition, instructors in those four classes were asked to show more of their leading role in supporting students’ interactions: to help facilitate open discussion, to encourage idea sharing and appreciation, and to direct top students’ effort more toward idea integration than domination. Focus group sessions followed by individual surveys carried out in the end have showed favorable feedback from the majority of the students even though some complained that the new settings required them to spend more time than usual. A number of suggestions for new learning methods and self-improvement were also come up by the students themselves.

Proceedings of the 10th International CDIO Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 15-19 2014

Authors (New): 
Le Thang Dong Tran
Minh Tung Dam
Duy Tan University, Vietnam
Active learning
CDIO Framework
FSNPA model
Learning Pyramid
individual learning
team learning
CDIO Standard 2
CDIO Standard 7
CDIO Standard 8
CDIO Standard 9
CDIO Standard 10
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