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ERIC Number: EJ1143321
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1936-346X
Say "Yes and" to Students Learning Teamwork! Using Improv in the College Classroom to Build Teamwork Skills
Watland, Kathleen Hanold; Santori, David
Journal of Learning in Higher Education, v10 n2 p91-97 Fall 2014
Teamwork and the ability to work collaboratively on a team are important skills in almost every industry or profession. The use of student teams in college courses is increasing and most academic programs require teamwork as part of the students' academic learning experience. While teamwork and other experiential collaborative learning opportunities are valuable pedagogical strategies, research suggests that little or no student instruction or preparation is provided to teach students how to be an effective team member. Without appropriate preparation from faculty, students focus only on accomplishing the products of the team or attending to the logistical considerations. Students may miss the opportunity to build the collaborative skills and relationships necessary to be an effective team member both in academic programs and in the workplace. The ability to serve as a collaborative team member is viewed as an important attribute in not just academic programs, but valuable in most careers, as well. Recognition of the value of improvisation or "Improv" is growing in the business world, yet literature on the use of Improv in college courses is limited. Improv is by nature very inclusive and interactive. Improv involves making the best use of the resources already available, especially human resources, by supporting each other and collaborating on ideas. This paper shares a case study exploring the use of four Improv exercises in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) course with the intent of enhancing students' learning about teamwork skills. Based on the basic premises of Improv, the exercises are used to prepare students for engaging in effective teamwork. Students enrolled in a Management Theory and Application course are assigned a team project. Prior to working on the projects, students self-select teams and create a Team Agreement. The Team Agreement serves as the entrance to explore essential considerations in teamwork. MBA students participate in four Improv exercises. The Improv exercises, the purpose, and the students' reactions are shared. This paper further discusses the need for continued student preparation in teamwork.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois (Chicago)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A