Performance Management Blog

Academic Improvements through Teamwork and Collaboration

Here are some personal beliefs about making academic improvements through teamwork and collaboration. Maybe we can drive some change. ALL of us can learn more than ANY of us.

We can get more accomplished through collaboration. And some perspective might lead to real progress!


I got very interested in academic performance and collaboration when asked about ideas for improving student collaboration by an educational institution. So, I drafted up a white paper that focused on my personal experience in schooling related to my experience in corporate team building. Students WILL take their learning in educational institutions into the workplace when they transition, so why not make it more effective?

Below is an overview of a 10-page paper you can download here:  Academic Improvement Through Teamwork and Collaboration


What: Teambuilding clearly impacts personal development and academic performance. Teamwork is a workplace skill that benefits education and carries over to generating lifelong benefits.

The Question: What can we do to optimize the positive impacts of generating real teamwork, engagement, and collaboration in our schools?

Abstract:

  • Collaboration and teamwork have clear positive impacts on personal development and academic performance.
  • Little has been written about student un-engagement, but workplace levels might be as high as 25% — does anyone think engagement is better in our schools? And what do we want students to carry forward for the rest of their lives?
  • Competitive cultures in academia are detrimental to overall student performance, while collaborative environments support more student successes.
  • Research shows teambuilding develops skills like communication, problem-solving and critical thinking that boost academic achievement. Collaboration boosts System 2 thinking.
  • Games / simulations that allow for practicing collaboration and reflection are effective educational tools.
  • The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine teambuilding board game encourages optimization through collaboration between teams. The game specifically focuses on performance results and is not just for business. It is a powerful teaching tool to generate culture change and alignment.
  • Dutchman has strong ties to leadership development and strategic planning and is used in corporations to teach and reinforce those skills.
  • Playing the Dutchman game and debriefing resulting behaviors will help shift students from competing to collaborating to support each other as they discuss possibilities for change and personal growth. This ties to the goal of optimizing overall academic accomplishments and will also generate carry-over to workplace behaviors.
  • The exercise is an inexpensive and effective tool to teach collaboration and optimize student performance in large groups.
  • A trained student or faculty facilitator would guide the gameplay and debriefing to apply lessons to academic improvement opportunities.

Education and collaboration among students are essential for effective learning. When students really work together, they can share their knowledge and perspectives, learn from each other’s mistakes, and develop new ideas. Collaboration also helps students to develop important social and emotional skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork.

Yet education tends to be a competitive endeavor
in so many different ways. And, AI will drive individual behavior
and not collaboration and teamwork.

There are many ways to build collaboration among students. One is to create opportunities for students to work together on group projects and assignments. This can be done in the classroom, in online learning environments, or even outside of school. When working on group projects, students must learn to communicate effectively, divide up the work fairly, and resolve conflicts. They must also learn to trust and rely on each other.

Another way to promote education and collaboration among students is to use technology. There are many different online tools and resources that can be used to facilitate collaboration, such as discussion forums, wikis, and project management tools. Technology can also be used to create interactive learning experiences, such as simulations and games. These experiences can help students to learn together and collaborate on solving problems.

And a third approach is to do formal teambuilding program, debriefing them to focus on opportunities for collaboration and to create motivation to choose to work collectively and congruently.

More collaboration among students would have the following impacts:

  • Improved academic achievement: Studies have shown that students who collaborate on learning activities tend to perform better academically than students who learn individually. This is likely because collaboration helps students to learn from each other, think differently, and to develop a deeper understanding of the material.
  • Increased engagement and motivation: Students are more likely to be engaged and motivated to learn when they are collaborating with others. This is because collaboration allows students to learn in a more social and interactive way.
  • Development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills: When students collaborate on learning activities, they are required to think critically and to solve problems together. This helps them to develop important critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Development of social and emotional skills: Collaboration also helps students to develop important social and emotional skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. These skills are essential for success in school and in life. Even introspective students benefit from working in team environments.

Here are some tips for promoting education and collaboration among students:

  • Create opportunities for students to work together on group projects and assignments: This can be done in the classroom, in online learning environments, or even outside of school.
  • Use technology to facilitate collaboration: There are many different online tools and resources that can be used to facilitate collaboration, such as discussion forums, wikis, and project management tools. Technology can also be used to create interactive learning experiences, such as simulations and games.
  • Provide students with clear instructions and expectations: When students are working on collaborative projects, it is important to provide them with clear instructions and expectations. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the project is completed successfully.
  • Encourage students to communicate and to resolve conflicts effectively: Communication and conflict resolution are essential skills for collaboration. Encourage students to communicate openly and honestly with each other, and to resolve conflicts in a respectful and constructive manner.
  • Model collaborative behavior yourself: Students learn by watching the adults in their lives. Model collaborative behavior yourself by working collaboratively with your colleagues and with your students.

By promoting education and collaboration among students, educators can help students to learn more effectively and to develop important social and emotional skills.

Educators can also use technology to promote education and collaboration among students. For example, educators can use online discussion forums to allow students to share their ideas and to collaborate on projects. Teams can challenge ideas. Additionally, educators can use project management tools to help students to organize and track their work on collaborative projects.

 —

For the FUN of It!

Dr. Scott Simmerman, designer of The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine teambuilding game.Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools.
Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant who is trying to retire!! He now lives in Cuenca, Ecuador.

You can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com
Learn more about Scott at his LinkedIn site.


Dr. Scott Simmerman

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of the amazing Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine team building game and the Square Wheels facilitation and engagement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced global presenter. -- You can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com and a detailed profile is here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottsimmerman/ -- Scott is the original designer of The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine teambuilding game and the Square Wheels® images for organizational development.

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