Collaboration and Team Dynamics: Analysis of Learning

7 July 2016

Learning teams consist of a small number of students grouped together, and working together on assignments during the duration of the course. According to University of Phoenix, Inc. (2006-2013), “By relying on others and having others rely on you, you will grow your collaborative skills”. This team encourages successful performance results, but successful performance can be hindered if team members do not equally contribute and work together. A collaborative team environment is the key for the complete success of the team.

A collaborative environment can be created if team members do the following; creating a team charter, discussions within the team, positive information, and equally take responsibility for portions of assignments. As a team, we shall address value of team collaboration as part of the Learning Team model. Address how team collaboration adds value to achieving success in the development of academic projects. Team collaboration adds value to achieving success for the entire group because each member is working together towards a common goal. Without having a “common goal”, the team cannot be successful.

Collaboration and Team Dynamics: Analysis of Learning Essay Example

“Once general goals are in place” the team members can develop an educational strategy for assigned projects. Along with collaborating with one another, team members must trust each other to work together efficiently. Team members come from all sorts of backgrounds and have many different life experiences, which can create different perspectives when collaborating on educational projects. Team diversity is the beauty of learning teams; by generating various style of learning; ways of communicating, ideas and learned information over the years.

A team member can be stronger in areas that his or her team members is not, and can help other team members strengthen their weaknesses. According to University of Phoenix, Inc. (2006-2013), “Our team approach learning means you will have a built-in support system as you complete your studies. In addition to contributing to your learning team, you will interact with others in your class—sharing ideas, debating issues and learning from their experience through interactive online forums”. (University of Phoenix, Inc.

, 2006-2013). Key Communication skills In order to be successful in any training team, it is necessary to have good communication skills within the group so that the group can reach its potential and be successful. “True team learning is the ability of members to share and build on their personal experience so that their collective experience enables them to improve team and organizational performance as well as to discover, develop and implement completely new ways of doing business”(D Andrea-O Brien & Buono, 1996).

In being in a group, there will always be different opinions, but there needs to be a way that everyone’s voice can be heard and ideas can be shared among one another. An important communication skill would be listening. Effective communication will not be possible in any aspect without listening. “The ability to listen to others and create shared meaning is extremely important because it provides the environment for sharing data and experiences and for creating a common base of knowledge” (D Andrea-O Brien & Buono,1996). It takes more than be able to throw ideas out.

It is more beneficial to listen to our peers and get other ideas and opinions on different situations versus being the only one speaking, “As such, effective communication processes – in terms of the ability to hear as well as to create shared meanings — provide this foundation” (D Andrea-O Brien & Buono, 1996). We can learn so much from other people when given the opportunity. It is also more likely to have everyone on one accord and make for a positive experience within in the group. Learning teams are not always the easiest things to be a part of, especially if one accustom to working alone.

However, the experience will be more pleasant when each member uses communication skills effectively with other members. Talk to each other and plan out what needs to be done and who will do what, so no one person is doing too more or too little. Also be able to touch on everybody’s strengths and weaknesses so that you will know what to incorporate in the group projects. Examine major pitfalls or risks that could affect the success of Learning Teams. There are many factors that can affect the success of a learning team.

Life happens to everyone within a learning team and not always at the same time. This can affect the amount of time some people are able to dedicate to their work or when they are able to post their part of an assignment. Communication is a huge vital player in learning teams, and as it breaks down so does the team. The success of a learning team built on information as much as participation, and without it the assignments will suffer. Another pitfall that can affect the success of learning teams is when you have more than one dominate personality within the team.

Having multiple dominate personalities within a team can create arguments, clashing of personalities, breakdown in communication, and even in extreme cases team members requesting to be moved to a different team. Besides breakdown in communication or the team itself, another issue that could affect learning teams is the amount of work to be made by each person. In come events, an individual within the team may not contribute as much as he or she instructed, in this case the remainder team members have to contribute more. This adds stress to the individuals within the team that could be avoided.

There is already a lot of stress on everyone within the team to get their personal assignments made as well as their part for the team, and if they are picking up the slack for the other team members then it can affect their quality of work on both assignments. When there is stress inside of the team between members it can cause enough friction that nothing gets done, and everything falls apart leaving everyone in a panic on the final due date. Finding ways to avoid pitfalls, and risks that may affect the learning team, and coming together as a team. Learning Team Charters

Team charters are the procedures, guidelines, and consequences outlined, so all team members are well aware of what expected of them at all times. The learning team charter is an essential tool and, to ensure the teams formalize protocols and contribute equally to the success of the team project. Leadership designed within the team charter. An example is the team joining together to create a team philosophy (Wolfgang & Morhart, 2008). The team creates the idea or common goal, so the outcome benefits the team as a whole. The team charter also allows the team as a whole to take personal responsibility.

Team members assigned sections according to their strengths while each team member given the freedom to maximize his or her performance. Each team member outlines their strength in the team charter as well as their flaws. Combining team strengths and weaknesses assist the team to assign the appropriate sections or projects when available. The team charter also sets ground rules to determine how to solve problems before they become a constant problem of complaining. The charter sets consequences if areas of the project not completed which in turn determines the responsibility of the problem and the solution of the problem.

“Organization requires their employees to work effectively as members of a team,” (University of Phoenix, 2004, para. 2) this statement is resonant with educational teams. The team charter prepares us as students for real world experiences while using the team atmosphere as a basis for student interaction. In conclusion, learning teams are a positive part of the learning process in higher education. Assignments split between team members lowers the chances of stress, and workloads evenly distributed. Communication plays a huge role in learning times and can make or break a team depending on how well each person communicates within the team.

Collaborating and working together for assignments helps to ensure that all sides of a subject discussed before the final product and helps to ensure the success of the last paper. The use of a team charter helps in not just information, but it also lays down ground rules for the team to follow. “If”, there are issues within the team the team charter can help find a solution. As with anything in life there are risks, and pitfalls that affect learning teams. Working together to get past, and or avoid them is part of the learning process.

Being able to work together to move past what life has to throw at each person strengthens the team, and everyone within it individually. Learning teams help students to learn better communication skills, how to work as a team regardless of disagreements and issues, gives the opportunity for everyone’s viewpoints and perspectives to be shared giving the opportunity to learn from one another, and make large assignments easier and less stressful. A significant benefit of learning teams, preparation of students by engaging and participating with others to become successful together.

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