Chapter 11: Equitable and Effective Student Teams

This chapter offers tools, assignments, and modules that set students up for more equitable team dynamics from the start and help them manage teams more equitably and effectively throughout the project.

Asset Maps are a key tool

Having students create and share asset maps moves them beyond facile stereotypes. Students in teams share their asset maps and then organize project work based on team members’ strengths and desired areas of growth.

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Consider these two very different asset maps.

Asset Map #1

Students bring a wealth of prior experience to draw upon during projects.

Asset Map #2

Students use individual asset maps to create a team asset chart that directs division of labor.

Sample Student Asset Map and Team Asset



“Working Toward More Equitable Team Dynamics”

Below is a paper presented at American Society of Engineering Education’s (ASEE) 2018 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference (CoNECD).

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WPI professors Elisabeth (Lisa) Stoddard and Geoff Pfeifer’s paper titled “Working Toward More Equitable Team Dynamics: Mapping Student Assets to Minimize Stereotyping and Task Assignment Bias” details a set of modules and resources for WPI’s first year, project-based seminar program (the Great Problems Seminars program) that attempt to help STEM students and faculty work through these issues with the goal of creating effective, equitable, and inclusive teams.