How can we get students to work in teams in online courses?

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Instructors face numerous challenges for getting students to work in teams.  The focus of this session is to present some of the elements and strategies faculty and instructional designers must take into consideration when planning, implementing and guiding virtual teams and team activities in online courses.

Presenters

I am a multilingual communications professional, educator, and leader in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, interested in actively contributing to the enrichment of theory, practice, and leadership. For the past seven years I have been involved in online learning in various roles. I co-created my institution's Center for Innovation and Creativity in Education, where I also led a team of instructional designers, graphic designers, and audiovisual technicians in the creation of multimedia content for online courses and trained faculty in the integration of new technologies and strategies in the traditional classroom. For the past five years I have led the campus' academic department for online learning. As department chair I have been widely involved in governance processes such as budgeting, strategic planning, policy, compliance, accreditation, faculty recruitment, selection, supervision and development, course programming, curricular development, instructional design, marketing, and student enrollment, advising, retention and success. I have also been able to implement pilot projects related to embedded librarianship, transdisciplinary team-teaching, communities of practice, internationalization, and faculty intrapreneurship. On the other hand, I have been an online instructor and designer of Management, Marketing, and Sales courses. I have actively contributed to the development of distance learning in Puerto Rico through my participation and involvement in local events, initiatives, and associations.

Extended Abstract

Instructors face numerous challenges for getting students to work in teams.  The integration of team learning activities in online courses requires the consideration of factors such as structure, leadership, and mental models, as well as team processes and mechanisms for communication and interaction.  It also requires the planning of activities and interactions that allow students to rethink their approaches to teamwork and to asynchronous collaboration.  The focus of this session is to present some of the elements and strategies faculty and instructional designers must take into consideration when planning, implementing and guiding virtual teams and team activities in online courses.  The use of the team charter is proposed for the documentation and guidance of virtual teams forming, organizing, and negotiation processes.