A Power Analysis to Determine Appropriate Sample Size for the Study of Student Design-Team Effectiveness

Publication Title

Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference



Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Forming collaborative teams is a critical first step in teamproject-based design courses as team composition directly affects not only teamwork processes and outcomes but also teamwork skills and experience. While various approaches have been used to form teams, the best methodology has not been found due to a lack of understanding of how team compositions impact team performance and teamwork learning. We need to establish a team effectiveness model for student design teams that describes relationships between team characteristics and team performance or teamwork learning. One of many challenges in such an effort is to estimate an appropriate sample size to achieve statistically significant results before starting data collection. In this paper, we demonstrate a power analysis for determining an appropriate sample size, i.e., the number of student teams, before we study the effectiveness of student design-teams. We first present a hypothesized team effectiveness model for student design teams that shows possible relationships among team factors. We then illustrate a statistical analysis procedure for studying the team effectiveness model using structural equation modeling (SEM) or path analysis. We finally demonstrate a power analysis of SEM for determining the appropriate sample size for studying the team effectiveness model.

Publication Date





Monte carlo simulation, Power analysis, Sample size, Structural equation modeling, Team effectiveness model, Team formation


Department of Engineering Technology; Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment (ETRA)