Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Publication Title

2016 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings



Conference Name

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


In highly technical organizations, work is becoming increasingly distributed; requiring practicing engineers to master virtual collaboration skills while acquiring expertise in a range of collaboration technologies. Although there has been great emphasis on developing collaboration competencies in the engineering curriculum, empirical evidence of successful strategies for distributed team settings is scarce. As an attempt to fill this gap this study investigates the impact of a scalable intervention in developing virtual collaboration skills. The intervention, based on instructional scaffolds embedded with collaboration technologies, is aimed at supporting specific processes including planning, goal setting, clarifying goals and expectations, communication, coordination and progress monitoring. A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the impact of the intervention on student teamwork skills. Data from 278 graduate and undergraduate engineering students participating in virtual team projects was used in the analysis. Results from the analysis are presented suggesting a statistically significant impact of the intervention on self-management skills when comparing randomly assigned teams with and without the intervention. The intervention is designed to be scalable so that it can be embedded into existing project-based courses. Our findings have important implications for the development of teamwork skills in engineering courses and provide evidence of a successful strategy that can be integrated into the existing engineering curriculum.


© 2016 American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, (New Orleans, LA).

Posted with the permission of the publisher.


0000-0003-4348-7798 (Pazos)

Original Publication Citation

Pazos, P., Magpili, N., Zhou, Z., & Rodriguez, L. J. (2016). Developing critical collaboration skills in engineering students: Results from an empirical study. Paper presented at the 2016 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26750