Publications & Resources

Measurement of Teamwork Processes Using Computer Simulation

Apr 1995

Harold F. O'Neil Jr., Gregory K. Chung, and Richard S. Brown

A new CRESST research study suggests that simulation technology can be effectively applied to the assessment of student teamwork and negotiation skills. The implications for applying such technology to performance assessment may be significant. Using a computer simulation based on earlier CRESST studies, the researchers created a negotiation scenario that required students to work in teams across networked computers. Participants were 10th- and 12th-grade students from a high school in southern California. “The student team’s responsibility,” said the researchers, “was to negotiate a union contract with a fictitious [computerized] management team.” Negotiation problems were real-world issues of wages, health and welfare, and pension while outcome measures were team performance score, whether or not agreement was reached, type of agreement negotiated, and time spent negotiating. The results of the study indicate that measurement of teamwork skills can be accomplished in a reasonably reliable and much more time-efficient manner than that of earlier approaches. An individual teamwork process score (e.g., leadership) is also generated as well as a teamwork process score. Students found the simulation to be interesting, easy to use, effective, and enjoyable. “Improving the ability to assess teamwork skills,” write the researchers, “and their relationships to performance outcomes will serve not only the interests of educational researchers but also the interests of training and development specialists, and American industry as well.”

O’Neil, H. F. Jr., Chung, G. K., & Brown, R. S. (1995). Measurement of teamwork processes using computer simulation (CSE Report 399). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).