Book cover of "Online, Open, and Equitable Education: Lessons from Teaching and Learning during the Global Pandemic" Edited by Nancy Turner, Nick Baker, David J. Hornsby, Aline Germain-Rutherford, David Graham, and Brad Wuetherick

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Coming summer 2024

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This chapter explores the impact of teamwork on the motivation and belonging of first-year engineering students during online course delivery due to COVID-19, using a Canadian engineering case study. The course was redesigned to enhance student engagement through asynchronous lectures and synchronous teamwork, incorporating game elements to support autonomy and self-efficacy. A mixed-method questionnaire completed by 180 students indicated positive responses regarding the support of their autonomy, self-efficacy, and sense of belonging. A significant 67% felt that team activities increased their motivation, while only 8% were dissatisfied with their online team experience. The study utilizes Self-Determination Theory to analyze student experiences and suggests that well-structured team-based activities can enhance students’ online learning experiences by meeting their psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

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Discussion Questions

  • How did the asynchronous lectures and synchronous teamwork contribute to student motivation and engagement in the course?
  • In what ways did the introduction of game elements influence student autonomy and self-efficacy?
  • What were the specific challenges faced in fostering a sense of belonging among students in an online environment, and how were these addressed?
  • How did the course redesign using Self-Determination Theory impact students’ perceptions of their learning experience?
  • What are the implications of these findings for the design of other online or blended, team-based learning courses in different contexts or disciplines?
  • Based on the study’s findings, what further adjustments could be made to improve student experiences in similar online courses?