Academic Innovation teamed up with faculty from the College of Engineering to create Tandem, a tailored software tool that supports students working on group projects. Tandem is currently being piloted in Engineering 100 with a group of 60 students.
Tandem’s asks students about their personalities and work preferences in a beginning of term survey. The tool then uses this information, along with weekly team checks, to tailor the students’ lessons and activities. In addition, instructors can see how teams are doing and which dimensions need improvement.
“A bad teaming experience can sour students on collaboration, and can convince them that their voices aren’t being heard or valued,” says Stephanie Sheffield, one of the faculty members on the project team. “With Tandem, we get to help students recognize the value of their own voices; that these voices are likely to be those of underrepresented populations makes a support system like Tandem even more necessary.”