Our graduates will enter a diverse workforce across the globe and need to be prepared to work with people of differing backgrounds. Studies show that diverse teams are better at solving problems and innovating. Research also shows that bias and stereotyping on teams can eliminate these benefits and reduce student learning. We have developed several tools and modules to help students and faculty identify, manage, and mitigate these issues. Asset mapping and team asset charting are two tools we have used with over 150 students on project teams. Our research shows these tools can improve equitable and effective teamwork by overcoming stereotypes, building student confidence, and minimizing task assignment bias. In module one and two, students fill out asset maps and discuss their assets (backgrounds, experiences, interests) with their team members. Team members will then determine who will take on what parts of the project based on each member’s assets and areas they want to develop. In module three, teams use a mid-project team processing sheet to help assess the equity and effectiveness of their division of labor, interactions, validation and uptake of one another's ideas, etc. They trouble shoot problem areas and discuss ways to reinforce what is working.
Pfeifer, Geoffrey and Elisabeth A. Stoddard (2019). “Equitable and Effective Teams: Creating and Managing Team Dynamics for Equitable Learning Outcomes” in Kristin Wobbe and Elisabeth A. Stoddard, eds. Beyond All Expectations: Project-Based Learning in the First Year
©Elisabeth (Lisa) Stoddard and Geoff Pfeifer. Originally Created for the Great Problem Seminar Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Workshops, testing, and broader implementation support funded by the Davis Educational Foundation for SWEET: Supporting WPI in Equitable and Effective Teamwork