An effective Team Project Group can be a valuable experience. Student are enriched by enhancing their teamwork skills and can find the experience rewarding. However, it seems for every successful team project group, there are as many which are dysfunctional in one way or another.
As harsh as this may sound, if a team project group is dysfunctional YOU as the Instructor may be to blame.
An effective team project group is a learning process which is guided by the Instructor. The establishment of the group and facilitating their ability to work together toward a goal is an aspect of the learning outcome for the course which is just as significant in many cases as the content being studied.
So, how do you take ownership for avoiding, as much as humanly possible, a dysfunctional project team?
- Make sure you take the time in the first class session to establish the Team Project Charter. There is a good post on this HERE. Establishing the Charter is the starting point for a high performance team.
- Take responsibility for facilitating the Team by providing a short period within each class period to meet with each team, working on the content AND the dynamics of teamwork.
- Employ the tools available for effective teamwork outside of the classroom. This can be through Canvas (see post HERE in this Faculty Blog that explains how to do that) or through use of Google Docs (see post HERE in this Faculty Blog that explains how to do that) or some other resource. Your guidance and assistance here can make the difference in practical, pragmatic functioning of the team.
Finally, I encourage you to pray with and for your project teams and encourage them to pray for each other. Amazing things can happen when we remember to introduce the Holy Spirit into the team dynamic.