Questrom Team Learning
Guidelines & Tools
Getting students to work collaboratively on their teams – rather than working separately and combining results – is a common challenge. The key to collaboration is interdependence, and faculty play an important role in creating the conditions for interdependence on teams.
In order to perform well on team projects, students often need to learn and apply new skills. What tends to work for individuals working alone may not work in teams. For example, with project teams, students will need to learn to assess and define the project scope, divide tasks, and engage in collective time management. Students may also need to develop teaming skills to work effectively with each other. Many students may be unfamiliar with the added responsibilities of working with peers, delivering opinions, negotiating between ideas, and integrating the contributions of all team members. Here are some tips to help students develop these skills.
Individual team members need to feel a sense of responsibility and accountability to their teams. There are times, however, when some students fail to engage with the team or produce their fair share of the work. These students are often described by their teammates as free-riders, slackers, or social loafers. Setting individual goals and requiring peer feedback are steps that can help mitigate and fairly account for this potential problem. For example,