As I begin writing my second learning journal (before being put into teams) it has come to my presumption in how Peter Smith likes to operate his lectures, that following in how I've had Peter for two previous papers; highly focused on students talking and expressing their views amongst the class, while Peter will clarify what students are reflecting on. Therefore what I have learnt this week in Oakley, Felder, Brent and Elhajj (2004) article on ‘Turning students groups into effective teams’ is how Peter and other lecturers/ managers arrange teams from instructor/manager-formed, and self-selection to a new student-formed team (my own term for it (Mikes Bikes simulation)). Instructor-formed teams I have seen many times before from Business 101 right through to third year papers. As well I have seen self-selection teams in International Business 307, but rarely, and extremely rarely have I ever seen a student-formed team.
On the one hand my understating of a lecture-formed team is based around students’ diversity, mix of personalities, and utter complete randomness. A sense of Tuckman’s model of forming, storming… etc. On the other hand self-selection teams are based on friendships, who you know, or who you may want to work with because individuals like to work with people they know rather than random outsiders (Oakley et al., 2004). Self-selection teams for myself do not seem to work due to laziness, ‘catch-ups’ rather than study dates, and no miscellaneous backgrounds, to name a few.
For the above two types of teams I never saw the benefits of weak and strong teams but after reading through Oakley et al. (2004 pg. 11) the authors analysed this position as “weak students get the benefit of seeing how good students approach assignments and they may also get some individual tutoring, while strong students who do the tutoring may benefit even more.” My judgement before this understanding was that the diversity between team members irritated each other because the weak students couldn't, and often didn't feel like doing the work of stronger students and vice versa.
Student-formed teams. Now what on earth is that! To a certain extent for me it’s an in-between approach where the lecture, myself, and the students who put me into a desired team hold the influence, with the latter being greatest. As discussed in class on Wednesday 30th July 2014 for a team to thrive is for all members to strive towards a common, shared goal. Without this then individuals start to become disinterested in their team.
I agree and fully support the CV we used for Mikes Bikes in how teams will be formed. I believe this to be a new invention to myself that will show a great amount of unknown diversity between all members. We therefore then go back to an above point about using Tuckman’s model. I feel that in the future this new learning style I have discussed of student-formed teams will be used to a greater extent with students being grouped into similar ambitions, but at the same time resulting in different GPAs so the weak can learn and the strong can tutor.
A great example to all the above points is when we as students graduate and enter the ‘real world.’ Our manager, and for us to manage will know the pros and cons in teams. He/ she will not ask if we want to work alone or with others, and will not ask who I would like to work with. More or less we will be assigned to groups/ or assign employees to groups where a supervisor will overlook performance resulting in remuneration through results. Now this is what the ‘real world’ is about.
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9 – 34