Examining the Impact of Team Dynamics on Academic and Professional Performance: A Cross-Sectional Study at Three Levels of Higher Education
This paper was the culmination of a longitudinal mixed-methods study into learning team dynamics. The study was presented in two phases at the Oxford Education Research Symposium in Oxford England in March 2014 (Phase 1 - Quantitative Results) and March 2016 (Phase 2 - Qualitative Results) [Note: The March 2015 OERS conference was cancelled due to the Paris terrorist attacks, Phase 2 was completed for the 2015 conference, but presented in 2016 as a result.] This paper integrated the two components of this study.
This study examined the impact of team dynamics on academic and professional performance through a two-part mixed-methods process. The first phase of this process probed students' ability - and willingness - to quantitatively evaluate the performance of members of their study teams, including a self-evaluation, over the duration of the class as each member’s performance impacted the development and success of a group project. The author analyzed the quantitative data with SPSS™ to correlate individual and team ratings collected through a peer review process as predictors of team performance on group projects and found a strong positive relationship between peer review scores and team outcomes.
The second phase of the team dynamics study explored the qualitative experience of the team members through a set of open-ended questions that examined the impact of the team dynamic on the students' academic and professional lives. Individual responses to the questions exploring the impact of the team project on personal and professional learning were analyzed with HyperRESEARCH™ through a series of coding passes to develop common themes and patterns from the questionnaire data. The resulting themes, patterns, findings, and conclusions may be useful in designing future team-based projects that improve critical thinking skills, enhance team performance, and produce graduates who are more effective in working with diverse teams in the workplace.
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