Do Young People Really Know How to Collaborate for Common Success? Study on Undergraduate Students’ Perception of Collaborative Work in a Spanish University


  • Inna Alexeeva-Alexeev Universidad Europea del Atlántico
  • Juan Luis Vidal-Mazon Universidad Europea del Atlántico
  • Julién Brito-Ballester Universidad Europea del Atlántico
  • Roberto Ruiz-Salces Universidad Europea del Atlántico
  • Monica Gracia-Villar Universidad Europea del Atlántico
  • Cristina Mazas-Pérez-Oleaga Universidad Europea del Atlántico



Collaborative work, educational research, Rasch model, higher education, interdisciplinary teams


This paper studies undergraduate student attitudes towards team-based projects, connecting those attitudes to challenges and overall perception of this work. This study was conducted with 220 students in the context of three subjects taught at a Spanish University, that included collaborative projects as mandatory assignments to be developed over the course of the subject. The instrument was a Likert scale-based questionnaire. As a methodology, the Rasch model was used, making it possible to apply indirect measuring of students’ development level of various skills. The findings point to the difficulty in solving specific communication needs and managing students’ involvement and commitment to the project. The results obtained through Differential Item Functioning analysis (DIF) show that gender, year of study, students’ age, academic degrees, and the context of curricular subjects influence significantly the acquisition of skills related to collaborative work, facilitating or hindering their development among university students. These results have practical implications for the design of collaborative projects within higher education academic programs. They also suggest that the way collaborative work is usually planned is not very effective and should be reconsidered.


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Author Biographies

Inna Alexeeva-Alexeev, Universidad Europea del Atlántico

Inna Alexeeva-Alexeev is Ph.D. in business administration with a specialty in entrepreneurship and has wide experience in business development and marketing. She is a professor and Director of the Chair of Entrepreneurial Culture at the University Europea del Atlantico (ESP). Since 2016, she has been collaborating with Funiber leading different European projects with focus on entrepreneurship.

Juan Luis Vidal-Mazon, Universidad Europea del Atlántico

Juan Luis Vidal-Mazon has a background in business administration and computer engineering; he has a Ph.D. in business administration. He is a professor and Director of International Relationship Office at the University Europea del Atlantico (ESP).

Julién Brito-Ballester, Universidad Europea del Atlántico

Julién Brito-Ballester is a psychologist. She has been working in a line of research on competencies development for more than 10 years. She is a doctoral student in education, a professor, academic coordinator, and a member of the Quality and Studies Cabinet of the University Europea del Atlantico (ESP).

Roberto Ruiz-Salces, Universidad Europea del Atlántico

Roberto Ruiz-Salces is a historian and anthropologist, specialized in the fields of education, ethics, health and human development. He has a Ph.D. in education. Since 1990 he has been a professor at different American and Spanish universities; he occupies a managerial position at the University Europea del Atlantico (ESP).

Monica Gracia-Villar, Universidad Europea del Atlántico

Monica Gracia-Villar is an expert in Business Communication and Strategic Direction; she has a Ph.D. in Project Engineering. She has wide labor experience in different companies in positions of responsibility. She is a professor in areas linked to communication and human resources management at the University Europea del Atlantico (ESP).

Cristina Mazas-Pérez-Oleaga, Universidad Europea del Atlántico

Cristina Mazas-Pérez-Oleaga has Ph.D. in economy and is an expert in econometrics, with wide experience in financial management. She works as a professor and Director of the Occupational Observatory at the Universidad Europea del Atlántico (ESP).


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How to Cite

Alexeeva-Alexeev, Inna, Juan Luis Vidal-Mazon, Julién Brito-Ballester, Roberto Ruiz-Salces, Monica Gracia-Villar, and Cristina Mazas-Pérez-Oleaga. 2022. “Do Young People Really Know How to Collaborate for Common Success? Study on Undergraduate Students’ Perception of Collaborative Work in a Spanish University”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 10 (May).