Investigating the Effects of Group Cohesion on Individual and Group Performance in a Graduate MIS Course: An Ethnographic Study

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipientNilesh Saraf, Beedie School of Business

Project team: Jared Chiu, research assistant, and Ranga Venkatchary, Centre for Educational Excellence

Timeframe: January 2020 to February 2022

Funding: $4,379

Course addressed: BUS 554 - Information Technology Management

Final report: View Nilesh Saraf’s Final Report (PDF) >> 

Description: We would like to study the impact of incorporating TBL (Team Based Learning) methodology into this course on student teams as they work on more complex group assignments involving business cases. The asynchronous, online environment is a unique context for applying the TBL method and, to our knowledge, has not been attempted.

The impact study will involve students’ perceptions, their learning activities from Canvas, and students’ performance in group projects.

Questions addressed:

  • What does literature tell us about the role of peer feedback and group cohesion?
  • What is the relationship between an orientation module (pre-work) in TBL and peer evaluation and group cohesion in graded assignments?
  • How does orientation affect group cohesion?
  • How does group cohesion affect learning?
  • How does team cohesion evolve over the term? 

Knowledge sharing: I will disseminate the project and the findings to colleagues. The TBL is specifically of interest to instructors in the Social Sciences across SFU who have a similar online course structure that includes theory/academic readings as well as real-life examples. As an ideal outcome, the PI will aim to publish a paper with the findings in academic outlets on teaching pedagogy.

Keywords: Team based learning; Team work; Survey questionnaire; Student outcomes; Learning outcome; Regression analysis; Longitudinal data; Canvas LMS; Case analysis pedagogy