Teamwork attitude, interest, and self-efficacy: Their implications for teaching teamwork skills to engineering students

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


The complex and multidisciplinary nature of today's engineering problems demands that new graduates excel in not only technical knowledge but also teamwork skills. In fact, the lack of effective teamwork has been identified among the most important factors contributing to the high failure rate of complex engineering projects. In this paper, we focus on engineering students' attitudes toward teamwork, their self-efficacy and interest in teamwork knowledge, skills, and abilities. Self-efficacy in a domain is an important construct that can predict whether or not someone is willing to undertake a challenge in that domain. Research suggests that the sufficient level of self-efficacy can encourage personal growth and skill development. The relevant research also points out that interest is a construct that can predict students' professional development in a domain. For example, as someone becomes an expert in a domain, his/her interest in the domain becomes individual, which means there is a long-term personal connection resulting in further exploration of the domain. In this paper, we postulate that the development of students in teamwork knowledge, skills and abilities can be tracked by the progress in their teamwork interest. In addition, we argue that interest development should be measured as a part of the assessment efforts to evaluate the professional skills development of students. We have developed and validated an instrument to measure teamwork efficacy and interest. The instrument was used to collect data in a geographically distributed university. The collected data were analyzed to identify the factors affecting students' attitudes toward interest and self-efficacy in teamwork as well as their relationships. The preliminary results indicated that students had a high level of self-efficacy and a low level of interest, which makes it challenging to improve students' teamwork skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLaunching a New Vision in Engineering Education, FIE 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984534
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Event2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015 - El Paso, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2015Oct 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityEl Paso

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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