We integrate team and leadership content with existing team-based classes. Small interventions can dramatically improve students' teamwork. Faculty who have collaborated with us report higher-quality work and significantly more efficient classroom management.
Traditional Practices in Team-Based Classes
Traditionally, students self-select into work groups on the basis of familiarity or convenience. They may receive no instruction on group dynamics, conflict management, team communication, and other essential practices of high-functioning teams.And, teams typically receive coaching only when things have gone wrong, for example when conflict interferes with performance.
It's a Revolution!
We offer a different model. We assign work groups with intention, based on complementary strengths, the aligned goals of team members, and other criteria. Students write a team contract that states explicitly their goals and expectations of one another. A system of rotational leadership ensures that every student leads at least one deliverable, after which we collect feedback from team members and debrief it with the leader. All of this is supported with one or two guest lectures on teamwork and leadership.
A model of such collaboration is ECE 3400, Electrical and Computer Engineering Practice and Design.For two semesters we have obtained excellent results by instituting these small changes in cooperation with instructors. Anecdotal evidence from faculty and TAs suggests that the quality of work improved, student engagement increased, and there were virtually no disruptions due to team conflict or miscommunications.
If you are interested in exploring ways we might support you in your team-based instruction, please contact us here.