Working in teams is among the key topics in management and education. There are numerous benefits associated with working in teams and cooperative learning in both educational and professional settings. In general, cooperative learning is often regarded as a positive practice because it helps education professionals to make students more motivated and encourage them to develop communication skills that they will need in the future.
According to modern researchers, the degree to which students are involved in the process of cooperative learning predicts their academic performance (Tsay and Brady 78). The use of cooperative learning is important and beneficial to students from different age groups as it makes them feel responsible for the success of an entire team and. Another benefit of cooperative learning and teamwork is supported by the theory of social interdependence – these practices, many researchers claim, allow making individuals more competitive, improving their self-esteem, and developing their communication skills (Johnson et al. 20). In reference to professional settings, teamwork is helpful as it allows those whose professional skills need to be improved to communicate with more experienced colleagues and adopt effective working practices. However, teamwork and collaborative learning can also have a negative impact because the success of these practices highly depends on the relationships between team members. It sometimes happens that teamwork involves mobbing and workplace conflicts based on interpersonal differences; therefore, it may decrease the productivity of all team members and cause workplace stress (Dogaru and Donciu 125).
Many researchers in different fields aim to measure teamwork. It is known that in the 1990s, there was a lack of teamwork measures. Many researchers of the past agree that observation is among the key ways to measure teamwork and that the psychometric properties of chosen teamwork measures are to be studied to produce positive results (Baker and Salas 469). Nowadays, a more subjective approach to measuring teamwork is also used by researchers; for instance, team self-evaluation tools can be used to describe teamwork and assess its effectiveness for particular team members (Bhavnani and Aldridge 13). The most common dimensions that are used to measure teamwork include respect and communication (Valentine et al. 16). Measuring teamwork allows assessing its effectiveness and reducing negative outcomes for students or employees involved.
Baker, David P., and Eduardo Salas. “Principles for Measuring Teamwork Skills.” Human Factors, vol. 34, no. 4, 1992, pp. 469-475.
Bhavnani, Sushil H., and M. Dayne Aldridge. “Teamwork Across Disciplinary Borders: A Bridge Between College and the Workplace.” Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 89, no. 1, 2000, pp. 13-16.
Dogaru, Mirela-Mihaela, and Irina Donciu. “The Impact on Workplace Performance Teamwork.” Knowledge Horizons – Economics, vol. 6, no. 4, 2014, pp. 125-127.
Johnson, David W., et al. “The State of Cooperative Learning in Postsecondary and Professional Settings.” Educational Psychology Review, vol. 19, no. 1, 2007, pp. 15-29.
Tsay, Mina, and Miranda Brady. “A Case Study of Cooperative Learning and Communication Pedagogy: Does Working in Teams Make a Difference?” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, vol. 10, no. 2, 2012, pp. 78-89.
Valentine, Melissa A., et al. “Measuring Teamwork in Health Care Settings: A Review of Survey Instruments.” Medical Care, vol. 53, no. 4, 2015, pp. 16-30.