Exploring Teamwork Beliefs and Competencies in Technology-enabled 21st Century Classrooms

Project Number
OER 62/12 EK

Project Duration
May 2013 - December 2016

Status
In-Progress

Abstract
Many educational institutions and policy-makers are recognizing teamwork as a competency for the 21st century learner. Good teamwork results in synergies that individuals alone could never have achieved, such as collaborative learning and collective motivation. Despite the importance of teamwork, teamwork can be difficult and complex. It can result in process losses such as dominance and social loafing. In Singapore, student perceptions of teamwork are mixed. Beliefs influence the behaviour of the team but we do not yet know enough about students' beliefs about teamwork. Students may have predisposed notions of teamwork that are different from the ideal, making it difficult for students' to engage in good teamwork. Another related challenge is the difficulty of measuring students' teamwork competency. Conceptually, past literature has developed many teamwork models and frameworks, and practically, issues of fairness and limited human capacity to monitor large number of teams. To address these issues, the research aims to examine teamwork beliefs and competencies in technology-enabled 21st century classrooms. We propose to 1) understand Singapore students' beliefs about teamwork and how these beliefs affect their teamwork competency, 2) develop a teamwork competency micro-profile mediated by synchronous group chats, and 3) gather students' and teachers' attitudes and perceptions of the teamwork competency micro-profile. A visual micro-profile of students' teamwork competency will be constructed from multiple layers - synchronous group chat logs with human and automated coding, metrics, self-reports and team reports. The micro-profile serves as a means of formative assessment, allowing students to improve on their future teamwork processes. This exploratory study goes toward understanding how various beliefs influence students' teamwork competency. In particular, lay theories serve as a theoretical base for examining students' teamwork beliefs. Additionally, this work will define and operationalize a teamwork competency measure relevant in the Singapore context as well as internationally. An academic domain-neutral measurement will be developed using synchronous group chats that can be embedded into the existing education curriculum. Moreover, developing teamwork competency in computer-mediated environments characterises the abilities that 21st century learners will need. The research enhances the usefulness of ICT in assessing 21st century competencies and will build technological expertise and capacity towards using ICT for formative assessment that can be expanded upon. Teamwork competency is crucial for 21st century learning and this research will explore underlying beliefs and develop a formative measure that will stand 21st century learners in good stead for future success.

Research Themes
Creativity/21st CC

Funding Source
NIE

Related Links
ReEd Vol 17: It’s All about Teamwork

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