Teaching and Learning with Technology

Building Blocks for Teams

Student Tips

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Why Teams?





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About this Guide

Although team and group work is a part of more courses at Penn State, many students find team work very frustrating. This is a short guide on what teams are and what you can do to make your team experience more rewarding.

Below are some frequently asked questions which lie at the heart of why students can find teamwork sometimes a bewildering experience. Click on the question or on the side menu to find out more about these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we in teams?

Teams are not only used in the modern workplace, but may help you learn course material more effectively.

What's my role on the team?

There are many possible roles on a team, but it's important not to become too "stuck" in them. Everyone should be able to contribute ideas on the entire project.

What do we do in meetings?

Meetings function most efficiently when members come prepared and ground rules are laid out.

How can I communicate my ideas effectively?

The first step to effective communication is listening. Then you will be better able to understand how to phrase your ideas more effectively.

This page also includes tips for working online such as using emoticons, sharing work schedules and establishing time limits for replies.

How can the team get organized and stay on track?

Defining the task, then maintaining a central archive and checklist can help the group stay on track.

What happens if a team member is not doing his or her part?

Try contacting and discussing the issue with that person before going to your instructor.

What happens if we do not get along?

Disagreement among team members is inevitable and even good for the team. But you do not want to let it escalate.

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Other Tips

Here are some additional Penn State resources that can help you with your team assignments.

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