Developing Metacognitive Engineering Teams


  • James Newell Rowan University
  • Kevin Dahm Rowan University
  • Roberta Harvey Rowan University


Metacognition is the awareness and understanding by a student of his or her own learning own skills, performance, preferences, and barriers. This paper describes efforts to develop metacognition in engineering teams at Rowan University, through writing, team-building exercises and the use of the Learning Combination Inventory (LCI).  The theoretical basis for the LCI is the Interactive Learning Model, which posits that learning processes occur through four distinct learning patterns: sequential, precise, technical, and confluent.  The LCI was used to profile the learning style of each student in the Rowan Chemical Engineering department. During the fall 2003 semester, teams of students reviewed their LCI profiles with faculty, wrote team charters and used biweekly written status reports to reflect on their progress throughout the semester. These activities were intended to further each student's awareness of his/her own abilities, heighten awareness of the variety of individuals and foster improved interpersonal and teaming skills. This paper describes student response to these activities as well as the effect of these activities on team performance.

Author Biographies

James Newell, Rowan University

Jim Newell is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Chemical Engineering Division of ASEE and has won both the Ray Fahien award from ASEE for contributions to engineering education and a Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award. His research interests include high-performance polymers, rubric development and forming metacognitive engineering teams.

Kevin Dahm, Rowan University

Kevin Dahm in an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his BS from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1992 and his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998. His current primary teaching interests are assessment of student learning and integrating process simulation throughout the chemical engineering curriculum.

Roberta Harvey, Rowan University

Roberta Harvey is an Assistant Professor in the Composition and Rhetoric Department at Rowan University. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and team-teaches the innovative multidisciplinary design and composition Sophomore Clinic course at Rowan. She is certified to administer LCI surveys.