Creating Effective Teams in a Classroom Environment
Published in Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 10 (2), Fall 2003. Publisher website: http://www.asbbs.org/
For over a decade, companies have been concerned that new graduates are often not prepared to work in jobs where there they are required to contribute as a member of a team. In response, many educators have adopted team-based learning pedagogies, often referred to as cooperative learning. The use of teams has created additional class management issues and added to the complexity of class dynamics. While most students find team activities helpful, the authors have experienced a variety of problems encountered by various teams. For example, some class teams never function as a team, and the members end up working in subgroups or individually. There is also the risk that one member dominates the other team members or shirks his/her responsibilities.
It is important to give students time to develop their interaction skills. To help students get the most out of the team-learning experience and help them develop habits that promote positive team interactions, we present ten in-class team development activities. Because enhancing team skills is of secondary concern (first being mastery of course content), each activity is designed to take at most 15 minutes. The exercises may be used throughout a semester, or the professor may elect to implement one or a few of the activities. Regardless, these activities will help even the best performing teams become more functional, will reduce the likelihood of team conflicts, and help students develop team skills. These activities were modeled after those in Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (2002).
Kathryn A.S. Lancaster and Cyndi A. Crother. "Creating Effective Teams in a Classroom Environment" Accounting Faculty Scholarship (2003).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/klancast/4