Tandem: Three Projects to Improve CoE Team Support

Tandem is a team-support tool proposed by lecturers in the College of Engineering and co-developed with UM’s Center for Academic Innovation. It was designed intentionally as a tool to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), aiming to raise student and instructor awareness of patterns of marginalization and to equip students and instructors with mechanisms for disrupting such patterns. It is available freely at UM and being used across the University (with especially high uptake in the Ross College of Business), and it is being piloted this semester externally with partners at Tufts University and the University at Buffalo.

Project 1: Improve Tandem to better detect and disrupt anti-Black racism on teams. 
This project will conduct and analyze focus groups with Black students to understand anti-Black racism on student teams and racialized teamwork experiences.

Project 2: Conduct quantitative analyses to better understand bias in student ratings using existing data. 
This project will investigate existing data to better understand how bias shows up in student ratings of peers and self, with the goal of helping us understand how demographic categories are related to scores given and received.

Project 3: Summarize teamwork research from Tandem with the goal of increasing faculty adoption. 
This project will create a faculty-focused landing page to explain Tandem,highlighting it as a research-based equity tool (not just a peer assessment tool to replace CATME).

Project Team

Robin Fowler
Technical Communication, Engineering Education Research

Trevion Henderson
Tufts University

Caroline Carter
Center for Academic Innovation

Caitlin Hayward
Center for Academic Innovation

Becky Matz
Center for Academic Innovation

Mark Mills
Center for Academic Innovation


This team received $ 50,000 in funding in Winter 2023.