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Jul 15, 2015
Successful Collaboration and Team Dynamics
Successful Collaboration and Team DynamicsCOM/516Michael Brummett, Andrew Cyr, Marvin Hoffmann, Mallory Quigg, Benjamin Shuffain, Marie WoodsApril 13, 2015Donna Monahan
The value of team collaboration for academic success
Collaboration is necessary skill set in virtual classroom to be effectiveDevelop clear goals and objectivesFacilitate better communication among team membersPlanning and brainstorming varied ideas
Given the varying nature of collaborative tasks, virtual teams, and the reliance on communication and collaboration technologies available, there is a need for a proven training program that prepares knowledge workers and students in conceiving and employing structured collaboration processes and strong relational links with teammates.
2Strategies in using conflict resolution as opportunities for learningManaging conflict resolution is critical to virtual teams successDefinition and characteristics are identifiedSources of conflicts are identifiedVirtual negotiation and mediation systems are introduced Methods of conflict training are suggested
Virtual teams can be effective with managing conflict as long as planning and brainstorming is done prior to collaborating. Communication and listening to every members ideas and suggestions can minimize conflict among members. Members should be able to resolve conflict among each other before taking it to the universitys faculty.3V I S U A LA U D I T O R YK I N E S T H E T I C hands-on experimentation need to move around communicate through touch hearing / listening spoken instructions often read out loud to hear the words reading / pictures often close eyes to visualize/ remember easily distracted by soundsMichael Brummett(Michael Brummett)If you search Learning Styles on the internet youll come across a number of tests that identify you most often in three categories: Visual Learner, Auditory Learner, or Kinesthetic (or Tactile) Learner.
According to Education Planner.org : Visual Learners- learn by visual means including reading, charts/diagrams, and pictures. They often can picture in their head what they are learning and will often close their eyes to visualize what they have learned or recall learning from memory. They can be easily distracted by sounds. Auditory Learners- learn best through hearing lectures or verbal instructions and listening to others in conversations. They are likely to store information based on how it sounds and reading is best comprehended by reading out loud so the information is heard as well as seen. Kinesthetic, or Tactile, Learners- learn most through hands on activity and experimentation, moving, touching, building, drawing, etc. They often have to take breaks and move around. Communication often involves hand gestures or physical touch.
These deal primarily with how learners like to receive information, which is important to know for oneself and is helpful to know of others in group settings. Some online collaboration tools provide sharing of a variety of content, from written documents and pictures (visual), to audio files (auditory), to video tutorials (kinesthetic) that can help bridge the gap in communicating with others having different learning styles.4Kolbs ModelLearning requires the resolution of conflicts between dialectically opposed modes of adaptation to the world. Conflict, differences, and disagreement are what drive the learning process. (Kolb & Kolb, 2005) Michael BrummettConcrete ExperienceAbstract ConceptualizationActive ExperimentationReflective ObservationAccommodatingDivergingAssimilatingConverging(Michael Brummett)A more detailed approach, and one that deals more directly with interactions between different learners in teams is the model developed by David Kolb. Kolbs approach developed within research into an Experiential Learning Theory (ELT). ELT has 6 propositions, one of which is quoted here. There is an overall emphasis on learning taking place in relation to ones environment (in this case, environment being fellow team members) and through the differences, disagreements, and conflicts that arise. This shows the real value of utilizing learning styles to strengthen the team dynamic.
Kolb posits that learning styles are a combination of related modes of grasping information (either through Concrete Experience or Abstract Conceptualization) with related modes of transforming experience (through Reflective Observation or Active Experimentation)
The combinations result in learning styles designated as Diverging, Converging, Assimilating, or Accommodating. 5Pragmatists (Contributors) practical application, good with detailsReflectors (Communicators) introverted, reviewers, planners, good at thinking through problemsActivists (Challengers)- activities and challenges, motivator, tends to jump in and do before thinking things throughTheorists (Collaborators)- big picture people, understanding why, linking events, ideas, situations.
Honey and Mumford Model(with UOP Learning Team Toolkit designations)Michael Brummett (Michael Brummett)Researchers Peter Honey and Alan Mumford modified Kolbs model along perhaps more practical lines and focused on the learning styles as functions within a group or team.
Pragmatists are the more practical ones, focusing on the task and the technique. They like to see immediate application of what they learn and are willing to practice to get it right. They are better with details. Reflectors are good at thinking through problems. They are more introverted and are prone to reviewing, planning, and preparing before they are comfortable doing anything. Activists like to experiment and prefer to learn through activities and challenges. They dont often deal well with sitting and listening through a lot of instructions, they are more prone to jump into action before thinking things through. For this reason they are great motivators but not usually adept at handling the finer details.Theorists are the big picture people. They are more concerned with the why of the project or the purpose of the team and so ask probing questions, draw links between ideas, situations, and events, and develop concluding solutions to problems.
Ideal teams have all four types present as members. Teams with primarily Reflectors often overanalyze and do very little for want of further reviewing and planning, while a group of all Activists my jump into action too early, wasting energy through inefficiency and not following through to the finish. All types are needed to balance each other.
Incidentally, in parentheses are terms that youll find for these types in the UOP Learning Team Toolkit (the pdf document The Team Working Together on the Getting to Results page). Owing to the repetition of the C sound it is most likely to be remembered by Auditory Learners. Honey and Mumfords model, with designations reflecting the actions of the team members should appeal to Kinesthetic Learners, while Kolbs diagrammatic approach should satisfy the Visual Learners. 6Crucial Communication SkillsCommunicate with teams to fully understand each others ideas
Ben Shuffain(Ben Shuffain)-After hearing what you teammates are saying, say it back to them to make sure you fully understand the message -Allow everyone to share their own vies and ideas and if you do not agree do it respectfully-Do not interrupt your teammate when they are trying to explain something, let them finish and then respond-If you do not understand fully what a teammate is trying to get across to you let them know so that everyone is on the same page-Stick to the task at hand; do not talk about subjects that may offend or upset your teammates
7Crucial Communication SkillsListenClarityFriendlyConfidenceOpen MindedRespect
Ben Shuffain-Do not become cliques to undermine other teammates ideas. We are all here for one true goal and that is getting a good grade by working together-Respond to all questions and discussions as promptly as possible, if you cannot do so tell your team in advance-If you cannot get back to your team quickly have an explanation ready because one will be expected of you-After a decision has been made by the team move on to the next task
BibliographyDoyal, A. (2015). Top 10 Communication Skills. Careers.
8Learning Team CharterCompleted at the beginning of the online course process to:describe our teams mission or task.to set our goalssecure each members commitment in achieving our goalsto planto allocate its resourcesA Charter increases the likelihood that a team will reach its objectives in an effective and an efficient mannerHelps identify potential conflicts and decide how to resolve conflicts should they arise.Filling out the Learning Team Charter will prove to be beneficial for each team and project you work onNew teams means new missions, goals, commitments, plans, and resourcesSame team but different instructor and/or project will requires thought of missions, goals, commitments, plans, and resources. members should use the Learning Team Charter form to guide them through the process.Mallory QuiggSince the Charter is to be filled out at the beginning of a project, we are encouraged get into contact and communicate with one another right away to fill in the information. Being able to develop a charter is a productive activity to take on with a team of people and develops several skills such as communicating, compromising, organizing, and reflecting. The use of a Charter is meant to increase the likelihood that a team reaches their objectives effectively and efficiently.Looking at the Charter, questions such as What strategy will you use to unsure all team