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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Wednesday, June 17 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
POSTER.29 - Teaching team work skills to undergraduate students: How many teaching strategies do you use?

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Teams perform best in achieving their shared goals when individuals within the team have both the necessary discipline knowledge and the skills to engage effectively in the process of teamwork (Hughes & Jones, 2011). Employers want graduates who not only have the required technical knowledge and skills, but have also developed ‘soft skills’ like teamwork (Hood et al., 2013). Teaching and assessing teamwork skills is difficult, usually not done well or not done at all (Hughes & Jones, 2011). There is a growing body of literature on the development of teamwork skills, although there is little evidence in the literature that teamwork skills have been systematically taught or assessed in the health professions. Since the focus on teaching and assessing teamwork skills is relatively new and resources are only beginning to emerge, it is reasonable to assume that academics themselves do not necessarily have well developed teamwork skills nor strategies to cultivate such skills in their students. What is lacking in the literature is evidence of how critical reflection influences how academics teach and assess teamwork skills. Multidisciplinary researchers from health sciences investigated how academics teach and assess teamwork skills. Critical self-reflection was a valuable strategy for academics to improve how they teach and assess teamwork skills. Key recommendations for academics actively teaching and assessing teamwork skills include integrating teamwork skills into the curriculum and allowing time for students to develop their skills across the curriculum. Strategies for developing effective teamwork skills included specific training about teamwork dynamics, conflict management and critical self-reflection. Findings from the study add to the evidence that critical reflection enhances team work teaching. 


Hood, K., Cant, R., Baulch, J., Gilbee, A., Leech, M., Anderson, A., & Davies, K. (2013). Prior experience of interprofessional learning enhances undergraduate nursing and healthcare students' professional identity and attitudes to teamwork. Nurse Education in Practice, 14(2), 1-617-122. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2013.07.013

Hughes, R.L., & Jones, S. K. (2011). Developing and assessing college student teamwork skills. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2011(149), 53-64. doi: 10.1002/ir.380

Wednesday June 17, 2015 4:00pm - 5:30pm PDT
Bayshore Foyer

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