In this issue, we bring you another edition of Aimee’s 11 Student Success Elements. This time, we explore collaboration and how working with another person or group is essential to many achievements. From essential skills to harness and possess, to the different behaviors that allow for cohesive and productive teamwork. So, if you are an educator, a coach, a supervisor, advisor, or a parent, this one’s for you.
The classroom is the first and an excellent environment where such skills can be developed. Educators and mentors promote collaboration by engaging students in group projects, team events, and volunteer opportunities. Not to mention that students also have the opportunity to develop these skills further through extracurricular activities such as sports teams, music and performance groups, as well as community service projects.
High school and university are the ‘practice course,’ so to speak, for professional partnership and participation. Though often times through an awkward trial and error process, students learn how to interact and conduct themselves in a professional manner. These experiences foster the skills students need in order to present their own ideas and listen to the ideas of others.
The first step in building relationships is to evaluate oneself. One way is to give students self-reflection exercises that include questions such as:
Questions like these help students gain some self-awareness, helps them interpret their own needs and emotions, and even identifies their own motivations and those of others. Ultimately, this begins the process toward productive group.
Solid Foundation Through Group Guidelines
Providing students with group guidelines will help build their group relationships. Austin and Baldwin emphasize that “each effective collaborative team must proceed through four basic stages” that include:
How can students apply these four stages to establish effective collaboration? What role do we play in ensuring each student does their own work? And, how can we encourage students to leverage the power of diversity in our modern and collaborative workspaces?
Have some time to spare? Here are some team building activities you can try with your group.
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