The PILAR (prospects, involved, liked, agency, respect
) model provides a dynamical systems perspective on collaboration. Two studies are performed using peer assessment data, both testing empirical support for the five Pillars that constitute members’ perceptions of collaboration viability (CoVi). The first study analyses peer assessment data collected online from 458 first-year engineering students (404 males; 54 females). A nine-item instrument was inherited from past year’s usage in the course, expanded with four additional items to elaborate upon the agency
Pillars. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted on student responses to test whether they thematically aligned to constructs consistent with the five Pillars. As anticipated, twelve of the thirteen items grouped into five components, each aligned with a Pillar, providing empirical evidence that the five Pillars represent perceptions of collaboration. The second study replicated the first study using a retrospective analysis of 87 items included in the Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME) peer assessment tool. The associated factor analyses resulted in five components and conceptual alignment of these components with Pillars was evident for three of five CATME components. We recommend a peer assessment instrument based upon PILAR as potentially more parsimonious and reliable than an extensive list of behaviours, such as employed by CATME. We also recommend including items that target inter-rater bias, which is aligned with the liked Pillar, that instruments such as CATME exclude.
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