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

Main Article Content

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.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
Jamro, M. Y. (2017). 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 https://ijier.net/index.php/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


Alexander, M., & Kusleika, R. (2016). Excel 2016 Power Programming with VBA: John Wiley & Sons.
Anderson, D. L. (2017). Cases and Exercises in Organization Development & Change: Sage Publications.
Bodnar, C. A., Anastasio, D., Enszer, J. A., & Burkey, D. D. (2016). Engineers at play: Games as teaching tools for undergraduate engineering students. Journal of engineering education, 105(1), 147-200.
Brown, M., & Long, P. (2006). Trends in learning space design. In D. Oblinger (Ed.), Learning spaces (pp. 9.1-9.11): Educause.
Bussmann, U. (2014). Group Dynamics: The Nature of Groups as Well as Dynamics of Informal Groups and Dysfunctions. Anchor Academic Publishing.
Crawford-Lee, M. S., & Crawford-Lee, M. S. (2016). Towards a sustainable apprenticeship system. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 6(4), 324-328.
Colbeck, C. L., Campbell, S. E., & Bjorklund, S. A. (2000). Grouping in the dark: What college students learn from group projects. The Journal of Higher Education, 71(1), pp. 60-83.
Comrey, A. L., & Lee, H. B. (2006). Chapter 11: Analysing Frequency Data with Chi Square, in Elementary Statistics: A Problem Solving Approach (4th ed.): Lulu. com.
Council, N. R. (2001). Knowing what students know: The science and design of educational assessment: National Academies Press.
Dennick, R., & Exley, K. (2004). Small group teaching: Tutorials, seminars and beyond. London and New York: Routledge.
Edward, L., Damian, S., & Peter, C. (2006). The interaction of engineering ‘types’: A study of group dynamics and its relationship to self and peer assessment during computer-based exercises. Engineering Education, 1(1), pp. 39-49.
Emmer, E. T., & Stough, L. M. (2001). Classroom management: A critical part of educational psychology, with implications for teacher education. Educational psychologist, 36(2), pp. 103-112.
Fine, L. (2009). The SWOT Analysis: Using Your Strength to Overcome Weaknesses. Using Opportunities to Overcome Threats., Createspace, US-SC-North Charleston.
Goold, A., Craig, A., & Coldwell, J. (2008). The student experience of working in teams online. In Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educcation technology? in Proceedings ascilite Melbourne 2008 pp.343-352,) Retrieved 19/05/2017 http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/melbourne08/procs/goold.pdf .
Hirsch, J., Zhang, X., Noah, J. A., & Ono, Y. (2017). Frontal temporal and parietal systems synchronize within and across brains during live eye-to-eye contact. NeuroImage, 8(157), pp. 314-330.
Kashan, A. H. (2011). An efficient algorithm for constrained global optimization and application to mechanical engineering design: League championship algorithm (LCA). Computer-Aided Design, 43(12), pp. 1769-1792.
Lencioni, P. (2006). The five dysfunctions of a team. John Wiley & Sons.
Lipovetsky, S. (2009). Pareto 80/20 law: derivation via random partitioning, International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, vol. 40, pp. 271-277.
Manktelow, J., Eyre, E., Jackson, K., Cook, L., Edwards, S., Bishop, L., Moss, I. (2015). Improving Group Dynamics: Helping Your Team Work More Effectively. Retrieved 02/05/2017, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/improving-group-dynamics.htm
Mills, P. (2003). Group project work with undergraduate veterinary science students, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 28, pp. 527-538.
MY Jamro. (2015). Development and analysis of dynamic assessment landscape for effective management of programmes and modules, in Programme Tutor Symposium, University of Hertfordshire, UK, 3rd July 2015.
MY Jamro. (2017). Case Study: Engaging students of E&T in positive group dynamics using randomly generated instantaneous virtual groups (IVGs) in classroom environment, in Programme Leaders Symposium, University of Hertfordshire, UK, 3rd July 2017.
Neo, M., & Neo, T.-K. (2009). Engaging students in multimedia-mediated Constructivist learning-Students' perceptions. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 12(2), 254-266.
Palmer, S., & Hall, W. (2016). An Evaluation of Group Work in First-Year Engineering Design Education. Chapter 7 in Collaboration and Student Engagement in Design Education, Hershey, PA: IGI Global., pp. 145-168.
Panadero, E., & Brown, G. T. (2017). Teachers’ reasons for using peer assessment: positive experience predicts use. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 32(1), 133-156.
Rienties, B., Alcott, P., & Jindal-Snape, D. (2014). To let students self-select or not: that is the question for teachers of culturally diverse groups. Journal of Studies in International Education, 18(1), pp. 64-83.
Springer, L., Stanne, M. E., & Donovan, S. S. (1999). Effects of small-group learning on undergraduates in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology: A meta-analysis. Review of educational research, 69(1), pp. 21-51.
Takyar, D. K., (2015). Generate Test Paper from Question Bank Using Excel VBA; http://www.familycomputerclub.com/Generate-Test-Paper-from-Question-Bank-Using-Excel-VBA.html
Taylor, A. (2011). Top 10 reasons students dislike working in small groups… and why I do it anyway. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 39(3), pp. 219-220.
Wankel, C., & DeFillippi, B. (Eds.). (2005). Educating managers through real world projects (Vol. 4): IAP Information Age Publishing.