Student Laboratory Team Performance as Related to Team Size

  • Phillip Cochrane (Indiana State University)
  • Barbara Eversole (Indiana State University)


Several College of Technology faculty members undertook a longitudinal study to see if there was a correlation between student laboratory team sizes and students’ achieving learning objectives. Commonly accepted logic would lead to a conclusion that as student laboratory teams become larger each team member has less direct interaction with the apparatus/equipment designed to convey/reinforce those learning objectives; therefore, and as consequence of this reduced interaction, students on larger teams would be less prone to mastering the learning objectives associated with the exercise. Conversely, smaller sized teams, due to higher levels of interaction with the apparati and lesser degrees of social loafing/disengagement would perform at higher levels than larger size teams. Using the results of post-exercise tests, the performance of different sizes of student teams in a mechanical engineering technology laboratory was analyzed. The analysis failed to support a hypothesis that a correlation exists between team sizes of two, three or four students and individual student performance. However, these results may not be generalizable to all engineering technology labora-tory environments.

Keywords: curriculum, safety, teamwork, teaching methods

How to Cite:

Cochrane, P. & Eversole, B., (2012) “Student Laboratory Team Performance as Related to Team Size”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering 28(4).

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Published on
10 Jan 2012