Nurturing Collaboration in an Undergraduate Computing Course with Robot-themed Team Training and Team Building

Scott, Michael, Parker, Alcwyn, McDonald, Brian, Lewis, Gareth and Powley, Edward (2019) Nurturing Collaboration in an Undergraduate Computing Course with Robot-themed Team Training and Team Building. In: Computing Education Practice, January 9th, 2019, Durham, UK.

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Abstract / Summary

Group projects are a common feature of undergraduate degree programmes in computing. Early and sustained collaboration helps students to strive beyond introductory programming towards professional software development. However, during their first year of study, students can find teamwork challenging. To equip learners with the foundational knowledge, skills, and experience that they need to collaborate effectively so early in their studies, a 3-day Robot Olympics using Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots can be deployed. The exercise draws upon Salas' big-five model of teamwork, making first-year students aware of coordinating mechanisms that aid in clarifying expectations and managing conflicts. These then act as lenses for reflection and feedback. Comparing a baseline cohort in 2015-16 to a cohort in 2016-17, after the introduction of the Robot Olympics, reveals a statistically significant reduction in team discord in an assessed collaborative programming project (d = 0.76). This suggests that the Robot Olympics made a positive contribution to the design of the first computing module. Notably, helping students to enact and reflect upon their group work and related employability skills.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router. ** Licence for VoR version of this article starting on 09-01-2019: http://www.acm.org/publications/policies/copyright_policy#Background
ISSN: Unknown
Subjects: Computer Science, Information & General Works
Courses by Department: The Games Academy > Computing for Games
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Mr JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: Michael Scott
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2019 16:41
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2019 16:41
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3111

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