Date of Award

2014

Embargo Period

2-26-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes)

Department

Design

Advisor(s)

Stacie Rohrbach

Abstract

With the growing complexity of problems in today’s world, the presence of self-managing teams at school and in the workplace has become increasingly common. Although teams have great potential to achieve, they inevitably run into challenges related to ambiguous problems, conflicting team member opinions, and unclear ways to allocate the work. Thus, each team member must bring different soft skills to their projects through a variety of roles (e.g., strategist, idea generator, decision facilitator, etc.) in order for collaborations to be successful. This project explores various ways that individuals can receive feedback from their teammates in order to guide their personal development and help them become effective team contributors. The research methods this project utilizes include a competitor assessment, literature review, and research conducted with participants (e.g., online surveys, in person interviews, and generative sessions). Findings reveal the need for a process that helps individuals perceive the feedback they receive as trusted, relevant, and meaningful. They also point to the need for flexibility in feedback tool options. Given that users often differ in their level of self-awareness, as well as the level of human interaction they desire when receiving feedback, a feedback system must support a variety of paths toward self-development. The final design concept this project proposes is called SkillFull. It is a web platform that allows users to manage their own teamwork skill development through six available tool options. The platform guides users through a feedback process that emphasizes the selection of specific skill goals so as to better direct the user’s practice and help ensure that peer feedback supports personal growth.

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