Investigating the Challenges of Teamwork for 1st Year Undergraduate Engineering Students


Literature has shown that the ability to work in teams is one of the most highly coveted skills by engineering employers (Levy & Rodkin, 2016). On the Biochemical Engineering programme at UCL, teamwork is present across the programme curriculum and has seen consistently high levels of positive feedback in annual evaluation surveys. However as the pandemic forced educators to move to the online environment, this resulted in significant implications for how students interacted with each other and engaged with teaching material, which in turn highlighted gaps in staff support. As we move to a blended approach, this project sought to understand the challenges 1st year undergraduate students face with teamwork in remote settings vs. in-person vs. a blend of both, discern any difficulties in teamwork related to inclusivity and gather information on how teaching staff could better support students working in teams for the first time at university. We addressed this with a mixed-method approach consisting of questionnaire design and case study-based workshops with our post-pandemic cohort of students who have experienced in-person, online and blended learning. Results showed that communication and engagement were the most common challenges students faced in remote teamwork settings, specifically related to language barriers and accessibility. The results also highlighted issues with inclusivity related to students who do not have English as a first language. It was also highlighted that there was a need to better address the implementation of adjustments for disabled/neurodivergent students in teamwork settings.

Author Information
Mauryn C. Nweke, University College London, United Kingdom
Manal Chaib, University College London, United Kingdom
Matthew Banner, University College London, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2023
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the ECE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Nweke M., Chaib M., & Banner M. (2023) Investigating the Challenges of Teamwork for 1st Year Undergraduate Engineering Students ISSN: 2188-1162 The European Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon