The framework for designing activities to promote teamwork should be situated in cooperative learning theory and pedagogy. Indeed, “for cooperative learning to occur, the instructor must carefully structure the learning experience…the instructor needs to make decisions relative to the goals of the assignment and the size and structure of the group”. Researchers note the difference between cooperative and collaborative learning, highlighting that the notion of collaboration is underpinned by a constructivist approach to learning and should reflect knowledge building, whereas cooperative is rather the sharing of ideas . Both notions imply the notion of goal attainment.

Overall, organisational, design and developmental aspects are critical to consider. It is also critical to reconsider the learning outcomes associated with teamwork, as their articulation and assessment will have direct effects on the teaching and learning processes of team-building and teamwork. Both students and instructors have mutually reinforcing roles to play in the effective development not only of team-building, but also in the development of teamwork skills that are acquired in the learning process, and to mitigate problems that will arise in the team-building process. It is imperative to consider such research and to develop guidelines for ‘best’ practice as there is an educative/personal need and a market/societal need in higher education to produce graduates, who have to capacity to function as members of a group/team in any context.

Strategies and activities for promoting and enhancing the development of Graduate Skills:

  • Graduate Skills Review

Teamwork teaching and learning activities

  • Communications Skills
  • Team Work Tips
  • Reflecting on Team Work
  • Team Contract
  • Teamwork Rules
  • Managing Conflict
  • Giving and receiving feedback

Assessing Teamwork

  • Standards of Achievement: critical thinking, ethical practice, sustainability and teamwork

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