What skills are required for successful online group work - what skills do you bring to the team?
As you engage in your online learning community you will start to gain an understanding of each other’s strengths and skills. In group work think about what are your strengths and those of the other students on your course.
Group work gives you the opportunity to share ideas, and learn from and with other people. It is important that you learn both how to contribute in an online group setting and how groups themselves can work more effectively.
- Who will be interested in carrying out research, organising the project, recording results or analysing the information you find?
- How will you ensure that the workload is spread evenly among the group?
A complex task will require a range of skills. Successful collaboration makes best use of the team’s skills, knowledge and experience, with each member taking on a role.
Tips for group work.
Remember to be flexible as you won’t always be able to work to your strengths.
There has been much research into team roles, the most well-known is Belbin.
Click on each team member to find out more:
Strengths – solidifies the group’s goals and aims, helps to direct group conversations on discussion boards and makes the difficult decisions.
Weaknesses – May become focussed on personal rather than group goals.
Strengths – brings creativity, innovative ideas and problem solving to the group.
Weaknesses – can be unrealistic and lose sight of the group’s goals.
Strengths – turns the team’s ideas and actions into clear, structured plans, utilising time-management and task-management tools as appropriate.
Weaknesses – can become inflexible and unwilling to take on ideas which move away from the plan created.
Strengths – helps the team to understand each other’s ideas, mediating conflict - a key skills when communicating online.
Weaknesses – can be indecisive and unwilling to present their own ideas.
Strengths – shows an attention to detail, ensuring the team continues to move forward and put plans into action.
Weaknesses – can become too worried by the details, taking on too much work and unwilling to delegate.
Activity: Skills for effective teamwork
Think about the last group project you worked on.
- What skills did others bring and was the work shared fairly?
- What skills did you bring to the team?
- If you were to attempt the project again, what do you think should be done differently?
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