2 What are the key concepts
The keywords for this research include teamwork development, teamwork assessment, conflict resolution, and chemical engineering.
3 What methods are used? This research employed seventy-two students studying Chemical Engineering, Chemical, and Bioproduct Engineering, and Chemical and Environmental Engineering. All these courses are three-year degree programs at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Out of the seventy-two students, forty-five of them were male, and the rest were female. That translated to 62.5 percent male and 37.5 percent female. The chosen students had participated in teamwork while they were in high school and during their first year in the university, even though they rarely had explicit instructions on their teams.
The students were then put into teams of three, making the total teams during the experiment to be twenty-four. In their third year, the students were regrouped into teams consisting of four students, making the total number of teams to be eighteen. Primary data were collected from each group: pre and post-tests of the level of knowledge the students possessed regarding effective teamwork. Another source of data was longitudinal quantitative and qualitative data retrieved from self-assessment of the students. The performance of the students in their respective groups was also assessed, and focus group interviews conducted.
The paper employs both qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze the data collected. Quantitative methods were applied in the analysis of data collected in self-assessment on teams and peers for the research and faculty assessment. The analysis of the data for the remaining tests, that is, focus group interviews and styles of conflict resolution were done using qualitative methods.
4 What answers are presented?
This research demonstrated a positive impact on teamwork skills through identified interesting behaviors among students at the University of Hong Kong. The study also showed that if efforts of systematic development are put in place, students are in a position to develop better conception and awareness of teamwork. The study also proved that the normal misconception where students divide tasks among themselves, work on them at individual level and later combine them to form one group work, does happen, but it is not the ideal teamwork as there is less interaction and sharing of ideas.
5 What is the contribution of this work? This research paper is important as it highlights what students and instructors need to do to ensure that students acquire teamwork skills that will help them cope up with situations in the employment world, where workers are needed to work in a team to enhance innovation.
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