Social sensitivity and classroom team projects: An empirical investigation

Lisa Bender, Gursimran Walia, Krishna Kambhampaty, Kendall E. Nygard, Travis E. Nygard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Team work is the norm in major development projects and industry is continually striving to improve team effectiveness. Researchers have established that teams with high levels of social sensitivity tend to perform well when completing a variety of specific collaborative tasks. Social sensitivity is the personal ability to perceive, understand, and respect the feelings and viewpoints of others, and it is reliably measurable. However, the tasks in recent research have been primarily short term, requiring only hours to finish, whereas major project teams work together for longer durations and on complex tasks. Our claim is that, social sensitivity can be a key component in predicting the performance of teams that carry out major projects. Our goal is to determine if previous research, which was not focused on students or professionals in scientific or technical fields, is germane for people in computing disciplines. This paper reports the results from an empirical study that investigates whether social sensitivity is correlated with the performance of student teams on large semester-long projects. The overall result supports our claim that the team social sensitivity is highly correlated with successful team performance. It suggests, therefore, that educators in computer-related disciplines, as well as computer professionals in the workforce, should take the concept of social sensitivity seriously as an aid or obstacle to productivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE'12 - Proceedings of the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Pages403-408
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE'12 - Raleigh, NC, United States
Duration: Feb 29 2012Mar 3 2012

Publication series

NameSIGCSE'12 - Proceedings of the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education

Conference

Conference43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE'12
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityRaleigh, NC
Period2/29/123/3/12

Keywords

  • collaboration
  • computer science
  • empirical study
  • social sensitivity
  • teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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