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Building a
Web Project
Building teams
Protect your
Web projects
Web project
Further reading
1. Developing trust
2. Four stages of team development
3. Characteristics of an effective team member

3. Characteristics of an Effective Project Team Member

We don't learn how to work as a team in the traditional classroom setting. We often sit "row on row" with our backs to each other. We memorize the big names, the leaders, the inventors. But, we never hear of the names behind the scenes, the team players who make things possible.

But, today's environment is too complex. The idea that someone can do it all themselves is no longer realistic. The new Information Age requires that our students learn to work effectively in teams. And, Web projects are one of the most effective environments for students to develop these skills.

The following includes examples of effective team behavior and strategies to help the teacher introduce these concepts to their students.

Willingness to contribute ideas, participate- The most important factor in getting students to participate is creating an environment where they aren't afraid to participate.

  • The teacher needs to structure ways for students to start working together. If some students are uncomfortable discussing in a group chat session, have students first write their ideas or brainstorms and then pass them from team member to team member.
  • Some students will passively agree with everything they hear, and watch the project pass by. At this point the teacher should have the student play Devil's advocate and see if they can express an opposite view.

Willingness to value and share different ideas- One of the most exciting elements of collaborative projects are the opportunities students have to engage in dialogs that involve different viewpoints, opinions, and even cultures. Students must be encouraged to consider every idea and contribution on its own merits and not discount ideas because of their source or because they are not familiar.

Willingness to be a team player- The teacher needs to reaffirm that the Web project's success depends on all students doing their parts.

Willingness to rely and trust in other team members- The nature of online projects requires that everyone share in the effort. Trust is developed when team members deliver or complete their tasks on time.

Willingness to follow through on tasks- If a student is having a difficult time completing a task, encourage him or her to ask for help.

  • The group may also need to reevaluate the feasibility of the project. Some projects sound great as ideas, but prove to be almost impossible in practice. At this point, the teacher may want to redirect the students by asking, "How might we accomplish our goals in a different way?" "What type of project might better fit our needs?"

Once again these are all suggestions and each team is going to find their own best way to work together. The key is to openly discuss from the beginning how the team will work together.

As you are building a strong foundation for your student teams, you'll also want to be looking at providing them a safe environment from which to work.

Section: Introduction to Building Teams
page 1: Developing trust 
page 2: Four stages of team development
page 3: Characteristics of an effective team member
Next Section: Protect your Students

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