Engaging students of Engineering & Technology in positive Group Dynamics using randomly generated Instant Virtual Group (IVG) quizzes

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Muhammad Yousif Jamro


A quiz template is developed keeping in mind the group dynamics to engage and encourage group work activities among E&T undergraduates. The Microsoft® Excel VBA programming was used to create random instant virtual groups (IVGs) and to select random questions. Although the IVG quiz selects group members randomly, yet the programming enables “controlled” reoccurrence keeping the entire class in alert state (i.e. allowing previous members from other groups to reappear and regroup). During the quiz, a small group cooperatively engaged working towards solution and at the end of each quiz question each group member is peer assessed by entire class following pre-set rules of engagement. At the end of quiz, the analyses are auto-plotted showing individual and group contributions flagging out, the best, good and the poor performers. The developed quiz workbook can be easily adopted for the reuse in any group assessment activity by simply changing the attendance list and question bank. The quiz template was used in piloting an epistemological study of various taught modules at different programme levels in various pathways of MEng-BEng and MSc Engineering programmes. The results of a survey analysing the effectiveness of such IVG quizzes using Chi-square test predicted an overall 71% net positive student’s responses with an average above 59% for various programme levels. Furthermore, the data analysis suggested that Level 4 and MSc cohorts comparatively need more tutor support in their group work as they have limited exposure to group dynamics. The significance of eye-contact and positioning of peers in-classroom randomised IVGs were also studied, which revealed that increasing separation between peers and their obscured locations obstructing their eye-contacts show adverse effects on group homotopy recommending maximum five members in an IVG creating effective cooperative communication. The random IVG quiz is tutor centred activity and mainly designed engaging students in-class active learning, and is suitable for small to medium class size of 30-35, nonetheless, large cohort size can be supported by splitting in batches.

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How to Cite
Jamro, M. (2017, October 31). Engaging students of Engineering & Technology in positive Group Dynamics using randomly generated Instant Virtual Group (IVG) quizzes. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 5(10), 10-43. Retrieved from http://ijier.net/ijier/article/view/797
Author Biography

Muhammad Yousif Jamro, University of Hertfordshire

Senior Lecturer (PhD, MSc, BSc) CEng, MIET, MIEEE, FMHEA, PIEMA

Deputy Programme Leader and Personal Tutor for MEng/BEng (EIEE/EIMENGE/ENMENGE)

University Liaison Officer (ULO) for IEEE UK&RI Communication Chapter


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