The Why's and Wherefore's

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Why’s and Wherefore’s of Learning Teams

The extensive use of learning teams in this course is based not only on the fact that they are effective as educational vehicles but also on the fact that they mirror in many ways the various groups which you experience in the workplace.  Through your participation in class learning teams, you practice many social skills invaluable to your career.

For example, in learning teams, you are encouraged to meet deadlines, to follow-through on commitments, to be open and honest in your interactions with your team mates, and to hone highly active listening and readings skills.  And just as importantly, you learn how to work toward constructive resolution of conflicts and disagreements within your teams.

In learning teams, you profit from the knowledge and experience of your team mates.  You are encouraged to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, to teach each other as well as learn from each other.  As a result, you and your learning team colleagues often achieve higher levels of performance in your project assignments than you could achieve alone.   The experience builds self-confidence and self-esteem, develops leadership and followership skills, and exercises interpersonal communication skills as well as decision skills.

We will form learning teams as soon as possible, once I have a final class roster.  In the meantime, as you become acquainted with one another, think about appropriate groupings.  For example, teams based on your majors will make team work more profitable. Or you may want to form teams based on what part of the valley you live in.  I will be inviting your ideas about such matters when we form our teams.

Each of our teams will have Leaders. And in addition, depending on the number of students and the nature of our course (online, classroom, or hybrid) we may use facilitators in our Discussion Board. A /leader/facilitator

  • Builds commitment and fosters a “we” approach
  • Develops effective, time-saving agendas
  • Understands different types of questioning techniques
  • Is an active listener
  • Gives effective feedback
  • Asks open-ended questions designed to encourage critical thinking and deep and wide discussion
  • Avoids groupthink
  • Encourages the team to complete its work in a timely manner
  • Encourages team members to use both on-ground and online time efficiently
  • May be the person appointed to post the team’s work online
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