TH Köln

Master Digital Sciences

Documents for Study Program Accreditation

Module »Guided Project with Team Supervision, focused on Architecting and Coding Software« (GP-TS-ACS)

Organizational Details

Responsible for the module
Prof. Dr. Stefan Bente (Faculty F10)
Lecturer(s)
All professors in the study program, Eberhard Schenk (Faculty F10), Prof. Dr. Siegfried Stumpf (Faculty F10)
Language
Both in German and in English
Offered in
Each Semester (Duration 1 Semester)
Location
At all locations, or remote
Number of participants
minimum 2, maximum 20
Precondition
none
Recommendation
none
ECTS
18
Effort
Total effort 540h
Total contact time
120h (12h lecture / 36h seminar / 72h project supervision)
Time for self-learning
420h (containing 420h self-organized project work)
Exam
Written exam in conjunction with project (during semester) and a presentation (2 partial exams)
Competences taught by the module
Analyze Domains, Model Systems, Implement Concepts, Deploy Products, Apply Standardization
General criteria covered by the module
Internationalization, Interdisciplinarity, Digitization, Transfer

Mapping to Focus Areas

Below, you find the module's mapping to the study program's focus areas. This is done as a contribution to all relevant focus areas (in ECTS, and content-wise). This is also relevant for setting the module in relation to other modules, and tells to what extent the module might be part of other study programs.

Focus Area ECTS (prop.) Module Contribution to Focus Area
Generating and Accessing Knowledge 2

A Guided Project of this type deals with complex data on some level.

Architecting and Coding Software 4

This type of Guided Project focuses on Architecting and Coding Software. The exact kind of contribution will be defined in the individual project description.

Empowering Business 2

Participants in a Guided Project of this type needs to understand the underlying business domain(s).

Acting Responsibly 6

This type of Guided Project Goal has a sub-module promoting teamwork skills, self-management skills, problem-solving skills, and the ability to understand team dynamics in order to manage and improve team performance.

Designing Innovations and Products 2

In a Guided Project of this type, some amount of innovation and creation is involved.

Managing and Running IT 2

In a Guided Project of this type, the aspect of managing and running the IT artefacts developed in it will be considered on some level.

Learning Outcome

Domain Part

(WHAT?)

Students will learn to work on a complex project in a team setting.

(HOW?)

By implementing the project, the students will learn …

  • problem-solving skills,
  • self-management skills,
  • teamwork skills, and
  • the ability for independent scientific work.
  • methods and knowledge about the subject matter, by focus on practical experience.

(WHY?)

This way, the students will be able to perform, plan, and lead similar projects in a professional context.

Team Supervision Part

(WHAT?)

Students will learn to manage difficulties in heterogeneously composed teams (e.g. culturally diverse teams).

(HOW?)

The students will

  • perform team building exercises and methods,
  • learn about the importance of project visions,
  • learn and apply group effectiveness research methods,
  • deal with heterogeneity in teams, and
  • apply various diagnostic tools.

(WHY?)

This way, the students will be able to deal with complex and difficult team constellations in a professional context.

Module Content

Domain Part

Supervised work of a complex task in a research and development project (possibly in cooperation with external partners) in a team. The Lecturer defines the objectives of the project, and conducts a regular discussion on the progress, by means of intermediate meetings between Lecturer and team in intervals of not more than three weeks.

In addition, the Lecturer agrees at least two project milestones with the team. The milestone results will contribute in an adequate manner to the final grade. The Lecturer further agrees the form of communication and cooperation with the team, and reflects it in regular intervals with them. The projects are systematically supervised.

Accompanying these components, the student research the relevant literature independently.

Team Supervision Part

Supervised treatment of a complex task in a research and development project (possibly in cooperation with external partners) in a team. The Lecturer defines the objectives of the project, and conducts a regular discussion on the progress, by means of intermediate meetings between Lecturer and team in intervals of not more than three weeks. In addition, the Lecturer agrees at least two project milestones with the team. The milestone results will contribute in an adequate manner to the final grade. The Lecturer further agrees the form of communication and cooperation with the team, and reflects it in regular intervals with them.

Forms of Teaching and Learning

Domain Part

The students work on documentation of the project results, research state of the art technology, use problem-solving methods etc.

The overall grade is based on the project results, project report, presentation, and possibly other parts (at the discretion of the individual lecturer).

Team Supervision Part

The team processes in the accompanying domain part are systematically monitored. Process monitoring combines training and reflection components with practical experience and the expansion of the above learning outcomes / skills. It consists of three components, as described below.

Team building and developing sessions

Starting with an introductory workshop to work in (heterogeneous) teams, the intended outcome of the workshop is the team definition, its vision and mission statement (Team Charta). Further sessions follow according to the situational needs of the team development, designed as lectures or further workshop.

The following aspects will be covered:

  • characteristics, objectives, advantages and challenges of teamwork
  • key findings of group effectiveness research
  • Effects of heterogeneity in teams (e.g. inter-cultural, inter-disciplinary, age and gender differences, …)
  • specific requirements, diverse tools and procedures to effectively manage diversity in teams and to achieve innovation and synergy (mapping – bridging - integrating)
  • adapting communication, interaction and management (leadership) style according to phases of team development
  • Procedures for the development of more effective cooperation in heterogeneous project teams.

Diagnosis and reflection on individual skills and team quality

This is done in three steps:

  • Personality profile (Neo-ffi or similar) is used to investigate the influences on the team dynamics. Potential strengths and weaknesses are discussed and learning and development strategies are identified with the individual team members and the team as a whole. (NEO-ffi, Inventory of social skills) determines which individual aspects (strengths, weaknesses) are brought by the student for teamwork. These results are reported back to the students.
  • Individual proclivities and preferences are identified with regard to their effects on team roles by using the Belbin Team Role Inventory; team members are encouraged to broaden their competencies and skills in less preferred roles.
  • Team Diagnostics: The quality of work of each team is determined by using procedures of team diagnostics (Team Climate Inventory (Brodbeck/Anderson/West) for the measurement of target and task orientation, as well as participation and confidence in the team ; SYMLOG-adjective rating scale (Bales/Cohen) to determine mutual interpersonal evaluations of group members). Results are collectively analyzed in a team reflection workshop and strategies for change are identified with the group members in terms of improving collaboration in the team and individual learning and optimization opportunities.

Final Team Reflection Workshop

The workshop is designed to review all the steps, decisions and actions taken by the group and to evaluate them with regard to the goals set in the vision statement at the beginning in order to draw lessons learned. Experiences from different teams can be exchanged here, in order to benefit and learn from other groups as well.

In addition to the above components, students are encouraged to carry out research of relevant literature independently.

Grading

Students are graded by a written exam (30%). As part the module, the students produce artefacts that also contribute to their grade, namely a portfolio (written project report (30%) and team charter (10%)) and a presentation (30%).

Learning Material Provided by Lecturer

Domain Part

Depending on the project.

Team Supervision Part

Relevant literature and method descriptions.

Literature

Depending on the project.

Team Supervision Part

Based on the aspect of working in a multi-cultural team:

  • Dyer, W G., Dyer, J. H., Dyer, W. G.; (2013). Team Building: Proven Strategies for Improving Team Performance (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Halverson, C. B., Tirmizi, S. A. (Eds.). (2008). Effective multicultural teams. Theory and Practice. Dordrecht, NL: Springer.
  • Stumpf, S. & Thomas, A. (Hrsg.). (2003). Teamarbeit und Teamentwicklung. Göttingen: Hogrefe.