Skip to content

Qualified satisfaction: first-year architecture student perceptions of teamwork

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Across disciplines, skills associated with collaboration are now ubiquitously considered requisite graduate attributes and central to the development of independent learners. Despite decades of studies on the various dimensions of academic teamwork, challenges for both students and staff remain. For this year-long study at a UK school of architecture, we considered teamwork as a thread woven through the first-year curriculum, traversing course modules and project types. The primary aim of the study was to evaluate the collective impact of teamwork activities on the incoming cohort of 200+ undergraduate students and how the structuring and coordination of such activities might improve the holistic student experience.

Across two rounds of online questionnaires and focus group sessions with students, participants articulated the benefits of collaboration for learning, socialization, and professional development. However, resentment towards teamwork increased throughout the year, as frustration with disengaged cohort mates grew, and students sought greater structure and oversight from tutors. On the other hand, when given the chance to reflect on the multidimensional nature of teamwork in focus group discussions, many students adopted a productively nuanced perspective toward the topic. This implies that, whether students like or dislike certain aspects of collaborative projects, opportunities for critical conversation can promote or prompt an appreciation for the educational value of including teamwork projects in curricula. The results of this study should be relevant to educators seeking to improve the implementation and effectiveness of team-based learning, particularly those in higher and professional education contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-164
JournalInternational Journal of Art & Design Education
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Thompson_et_al_2020_AAM

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: James Thompson, Tarek Teba, Roberto Braglia, 'Qualified Satisfaction: First‐Year Architecture Student Perceptions of Teamwork'. The International Journal of Art & Design Education, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 463 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 9/01/23

Related information

Relations Get citation (various referencing formats)

ID: 23169107