The educational impact of team-skills training: preparing students to work in groups

Prichard, Jane S., Bizo, Lewis A. and Stratford, Robert J. (2006) The educational impact of team-skills training: preparing students to work in groups. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, (1), 119-140. (doi:10.1348/000709904X24564).


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Background: Despite a vast literature on collaborative learning (CL), there is little research on preparing students to work collaboratively.

Aims: This two-phase evaluation investigated whether team-skills training could enhance the performance of collaborative groups through the introduction of a team development programme to a group-based undergraduate key-skills unit.

Sample: Phase 1 compared two consecutive cohorts of second-year students, Cohort 1 (N=94) who received no preparation, and Cohort 2 (N=113) who received team-skills training. Phase 2 added Cohort 3 (N=88), who also received team-skills training, to extend the analysis.

Method: In Phase 1, students in both Cohorts 1 and 2 worked on a series of curriculum based key-skill tasks across two semesters. Students worked in one group in Semester 1 and were then formed into new groups for Semester 2. Effects of the training were measured by student group marks and key-skill ratings.

Results: Marks and key-skill ratings were significantly higher for the trained cohort in Semester 1 (p<.01). However, in Semester 2 performance reduced for the trained cohort in comparison to Semester 1. To explore this further, Phase 2 of the study evaluated Cohort 3, where after training, collaborative groups remained intact throughout the academic year. Results for Cohort 3 showed no attenuation of performance effects in Semester 2.

Conclusions: Phase 1 results support the use of team-skills training to enhance CL group performance. The findings for Phase 2 suggest that these benefits may be lost if training groups are disrupted.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1348/000709904X24564
ISSNs: 0007-0998 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Policy
ePrint ID: 33466
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 16 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:59

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