I continue to share brief lessons from the modules in Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching.

Session 1, 2024 enrolment is open now. You can sign up at https://canvas.instructure.com/register and use the following join code: FPXJJW.

Managing Student Teams is Module 19 and part of the Enhancing your teaching pathway through the course.

Developed by Donella Caspersz, Judy Skene and Mare Stevanovski (University of Western Australia), this module provides strategies for facilitating effective teamwork for student projects. Team projects can be challenging! The module invites teachers to reflect on the following questions:

  • Why use teams?
  • How will the team project contribute to unit outcomes?
  • What skills will students learn from the team project?
  • How is the knowledge and skills that students gain in a team project transferable to post-university work?

The three phases of student teamwork

The module provides resources to guide teachers through options for facilitating three phases of student teamwork:

Pre-team and forming phase – where teamwork ‘output’ (as in research, reports, etc.) may not be readily identifiable. Instead, in this phase, students get to know each other and each other’s capabilities for the team project;

Mid-term progress phase – which is more identifiably the ‘flashpoint’ at which students realise the task ahead of them and compress their team experience to complete their team project; and

Completion phase – where team members ensure they have met the task requirements and submit their project on time.

By developing an ‘ideal’ plan of progress through these phases – using the worksheets, checklist questions, and troubleshooting and reflection guides in the module – teachers can monitor the progress of student teams. The scenarios and resources in the module are aimed at both students and teachers – with a suggestion that teaching teams use the checklists to model effective teamwork.

Managing conflict in student teams

Of particular value are the resources on managing conflict in student teams. Watch the one and half minute video on Managing Conflict in Student Teamwork video by the Cornell Centre for Teaching Innovation:

Enrol in the MOOC to explore this topic further


Previous posts in this MOOC series

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Posted by Agnes Bosanquet

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