The influence of gender and country-of-origin effects on student processes in team projects

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
ISBN
0 908557 54 X
Abstract 

This paper presents results from a study investigating the influence of gender and country-of-origin effects on individual level student processes occurring within clearly divisible academic student team projects. The study was exploratory in nature and aimed at unravelling 'possibilities' rather than reaching definitive conclusions. While a number of variables were researched, statistically significant results were found in a few areas. One was in relation to gender and measures exploring social approval and the 'sucker effect', which is when team member performance is detrimentally affected by perceived lack of effort by other team members. Statistical significance also emerged between overseas-born students and Australian-born students on social approval, as well as self-efficacy (or students' own confidence) in completing team projects. The paper discusses the implications of this research for the management of student team projects and outlines directions for future research. The overall conclusion arising from this study is that effective management of gender and country-of-origin effects in student projects is linked to improvement in students' interpersonal skills. This concurs with a conclusion reached in a broader study of individual level student processes occurring in academic student team projects (Caspersz, Wu & Skene: 2002).

Keywords: diversity, teams, students

The influence of gender and country-of-origin effects on student processes in team projects

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Caspersz, D., Wu, M. & Skene, J.