by Frances A. Kennedy, Ph.D. with Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D
Teamwork is one of the skills most prized by prospective employers. It’s important to remember that our students don’t necessarily come into college knowing how to work effectively with others, and to construct team assignments in a way that helps them learn not only the content, but also the necessary interpersonal skills. This week’s teaching note showcases a set of resources that will help your students do exactly that.
Published in 2008 by the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University, Successful Strategies for Teams is an 88-page resource designed to guide students through the potentially treacherous waters of completing a major group project. It will equip them with techniques and templates that corporate experience has proven highly effective in making teams more productive, efficient, and successful. Specifically, these techniques help teams organize information, organize and run effective meetings, and generate useful member contributions.
This handbook promises a wide range of learning outcomes for students: to recognize different team player styles and what each contributes to the team; to organize a new team with clear ground rules, roles, and responsibilities; to organize and run effective team meetings that stay on track; to practice sound project and time planning; to solve problems effectively by follow a series of steps; to apply qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques to solving problems; and to know when and know how to use the appropriate organizational, data collection, and analysis tools.
The various sections address why students should learn to excel at teamwork, the stages of team development, team player styles, mental models of teamwork, teamwork skills, ways to troubleshoot group problems, and tools for organizing, problem solving, and collecting and analyzing information.
The book is freely available at:
To follow up on any of these ideas, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This Weekly Teaching Note was adapted from a contribution to the Teaching and Learning Writing Consortium sponsored by Western Kentucky University.
Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D., Director
Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation