Assessment of teamwork in higher education collaborative learning teams: a validation study



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The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study conducted in a field setting, based on survey research, and team observations, with interviews and focus groups at the end of the project that focused on the examination and measurement of face-to-face teamwork in a collaborative learning college setting. The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of the Teamwork Assessment Scale (TAS) and its relation with perceptions of personal characteristics of Instrumentality and Expressiveness as measured by (a) the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) (Spence & Helmrich, 1978), (b) with a measure of Team Flow (De Hoyos, Dara-Abrams, & Bischoff, 2004) and (c) Team Synergy (De Hoyos & Resta, 2004). In a pilot study of online teamwork, an exploratory factor analysis of the TAS revealed the presence of two factors that underlie online teamwork as measured by the TAS (Menchaca & Resta, 2002). The factors were labeled Task Management and Social Interaction. In this study exploratory factor analyses were conducted to examine the constructs that underlie face-to-face teamwork. The TAS was adapted for use with face-to-face teams and a dimension of Trust was added to the TAS scale. Reliability of the scale was calculated and the properties of items within each scale were examined. Convergent and discriminant validity relationships with related constructs of Instrumentality and Expressiveness were assessed by means of correlation analyses. A Social Interaction Model was developed from a Socio-cultural perspective and its fit to the data collected was assessed through path analyses. The model fit the data and the study provided evidence for the validity and reliability of the TAS. Teams were observed while accomplishing their projects and four case studies provided an in depth view of the team dynamics and interactions. The case studies demonstrated that performance in teams relates to the following attributes: positive social interaction shared leadership, personal and task trust, and effective conflict management to keep the team environment positive and productive.