Presenter: Matt Gowie

Research Category: Interdisciplinary Topics, Centers and Institutes
Additional Authors: Maple Kuo, Craig Berry, John Reardon, Nicole Nussbaum
PI: Mark Sivak
Award Winner Category: Interdisciplinary Topics

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With WeTeam, we are working to improve upon academic group projects. Through our own experiences and a survey of 200 students, we found that organization is difficult, individuals never have an equal amount of work, and everyone receives the same grade. However, group projects aren’t going away anytime soon, especially with the increasing prevalence of online education. We have decided to take on the challenge of fostering collaboration between students in academic group projects through motivational aspects.

Our survey findings showed that students are most frustrated by group members not doing their part. Unexpectedly, 0 of the 200 students surveyed chose “earning the grade” when asked which aspects of a group project was most important. Faculty interviews revealed that teachers do not have time to check in with each group and they expect groups to reach out when they need help.

WeTeam is a website that facilitates group projects. Faculty members can create and monitor group projects, as well as define project goals and assign groups. Students are then able to create, assign, complete, dispute, and comment on tasks. To improve motivation and team unity, individual progress bars visually show the amount of work each student has completed, and a team progress bar tracks the progress of the entire group.

WeTeam provides project management tools for organization and communication, and encourages motivation and collaboration between students and faculty.