Academic journal article Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling

An Investigation of the Psychometric Properties of a Measure of Teamwork among High School Students

Academic journal article Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling

An Investigation of the Psychometric Properties of a Measure of Teamwork among High School Students

Article excerpt

Collaborative, team-based learning is considered an effective approach to develop students' knowledge and skills necessary for academic and professional success (Bell, 2010; Larson & Northern Miller, 2011; Thorp & Sage, 2002). The basis of this studentcentered pedagogy is to promote such essential skills as critical thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, and teamwork, which serve as the cornerstone of various policy initiatives to promote workforce development (e.g., Partnerships for 21st Century Skills, 2009). While paramount to life success, effective strategies to facilitate these outcomes with fidelity require consideration of factors specific to curriculum, teacher quality, and assessment (Rotherham & Willingham, 2009). The availability of effective tools for teachers and researchers alike to facilitate the learning process is critical, especially given the challenge and required time investment inherent in collaborative work (Johnson, Al-Mahmood, & Maier, 2012).

United States national educational standards and workforce policy initiatives specify the diverse skills needed by high school graduates to be college and career ready (Partnerships for 21st Century Skills, 2009; 21st Century Workforce Commission, 2000). Such frameworks seek to encourage a strong primary and secondary educational system to expose students to diverse, rich learning opportunities to build skills needed for life success. The frameworks advance strategies to produce students who are able to think critically, apply their knowledge and skills, and engage in higher-order processing of information across diverse areas (e.g., mathematics, science). For example, the 21st Century Workforce Commission's (2000) report identified a set of nine areas of "Keys to Success" to promote the technology literacies of emerging work to ensure graduating students have the knowledge and skills to succeed in an increasingly technologically driven age. The development, delivery, and evaluation of effective instructional strategies to promote students' learning outcomes to meet workforce demands requires the availability of psychometrically sound measures of targeted knowledge and skills to guide instructional and programmatic decisions. Wang, MacCann, Zhuan, Liu, and Roberts (2009) noted a considerable lack of measures to measure teamwork skills among high schools.

In response to the limited availability of teamwork measures within high school settings, this study sought to investigate a downward extension of an existing teamwork instrument developed for college students (Imbrie, Maller, & Immekus, 2005). As described, the study addresses the call for continued research on how problem-based learning strategies are associated with students' development of collaboration and intrinsic motivation (Hmelo-Silver, 2004). Addressing how team-based inquiry influences such noncognitive learning outcomes as achievement motivation and institutional integration or connection in practice and research requires the availability of diverse assessment instruments that meet criteria of rigor and feasibility (Braverman, 2013). Empirical evidence from such inquiries has direct practical, research, and policy implications regarding the use of problem-based approaches to learning among high school students, especially among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused high schools, which emphasize collaborative problem-based learning and projects.

Conceptualizing teamwork

Historically, "industry"-type teams have provided a framework to examine teams in educational settings (e.g., classrooms). Guzzo (1986) characterized a team as a collection of individuals with a shared view that see themselves as a social entity. More specifically, Guzzo and Dickson (1996) characterized a team as a collection of persons considering themselves and are considered by others to function as a social group. This group is interdependent given the activities they engage in together. …

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