Creating Strong Teams – Worksheet Wednesday
Regardless of how you decide to create student teams, an oft-neglected aspect of this process is what happens immediately after you put the students into their groups – giving the students an opportunity to create conditions for success immediately.
As I shared in my last post, Wednesdays on the blog are going to be devoted to sharing worksheets that help us to play with and think through teaching activities, brainstorm ways to approach writing and research tasks, and think differently about intentions and actions in our faculty work. I’ll release new worksheets every second Wednesday of the month and talk about the worksheet theme all month long (on Wednesdays, of course. I’m wondering how many times I can say Wednesday in this post. We’re up to five now).
We’ve been having some rich discussions about creating and facilitating good team projects in one of my faculty fellows groups, and how to put together good groups is a major theme in those conversation. We talked about the different ways we assign group – randomly (perhaps generated by the LMS), by ability level (either grouping like abilities or distributing varying abilities across teams), allowing students to choose their partners, or based on your view of who might work well together – and explored the pros and cons of each. (Curious about how I put teams together? Check out this post on creating cross-functional student teams.)
But regardless of how you decide to create your teams, an oft-neglected aspect of this process is what happens immediately after you put the students into their groups – giving the students an opportunity to create conditions for success immediately.
So for the Creating Good Teams Worksheet, I created something super simple to help you think about how to create those conditions based on four characteristics of strong teams. There at least two ways I can see you using this worksheet:
- while developing your assignment to brainstorm ways you might actively create these conditions after introducing a group project
- asking your students in their newly formed teams to fill out the worksheet together before they start the actual work of the project.
What exactly might that look like? Check back next Wednesday to find out.