IDEA Objective 5: Acquiring skills in working with others as a member of a team
What is this objective?
- This objective revolves around the idea that collaboration and team work improves practice and provides for a platform where the participants can exchange ideas and reform information.
- With the increasing prevalence of interdisciplinary work and research, learners need to become more of a team player and collaborate with other professionals (in a real or virtual setting), that come with different sets of expertise.
How can one teach this objective?
- Carefully design the group tasks. The tasks should push the students to think beyond their existing knowledge, should provide scope for the students’ to challenge each other’s thinking and should provide opportunity for creativity.
- Choose an appropriate team size for your course. According to the research, a team of 3 to 5 individuals functions the best.
- Prepare the team before they dive into completing the tasks. Start with some team building exercises like stating the goals, developing and signing-off on a set of expectations and guidelines to deal with a non-participant. Assisting the team to choose the roles of each team member (leaders and scribes) can help the team to function as a cohesive entity.
- Educate the team regarding the qualities and characteristics of successful teams. The more the teams know about what goes into making or breaking a team, the better they would be able to work in teams and also resolve any issues that may arise later.
- Provide frequent feedback and assistance on conflict resolution. Facilitate timely feedback and reviews at appropriate intervals so that the teams can identify their weaknesses and can work on them and also review the group members. With members coming from diverse background there would be some conflicts among the members, but if you as a teacher will provide assistance on conflict resolutions, there will be a positive learning environment and the teams would also learn team management strategies.
How can one assess this objective?
- Interact personally with the teams, ask appropriate questions to gauge the understanding and progress of the team.
- Provide clear rubrics prior to the start of the projects.
- As a real-time assessment ask the teams to maintain logs, minutes, reports and tasks lists on hand always.
Reference and resource:
Author: Praveena Kanchupati, PhD. Candidate & GTA Consultant
Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
Contributions: Shelly Bayer, Ed.D., Assistant Director
Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
Kevin Sackreiter, Ed.D., Director
Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning