Students’ Experiences of Teamwork

Work thumb

Views: 95

  • Title: Students’ Experiences of Teamwork: Dealing with Conflicting Identities during a Team-based Academic Writing Project in a Clinical Medical Practice Programme
  • Author(s): Pineteh E Angu
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Diversity in Education
  • Keywords: Teamwork; Academic Writing; Team-based Approach; Bachelor of Medical Practice Students
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-0020 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2163 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0020/CGP/v19i01/11-25
  • Citation: Angu, Pineteh E. 2019. "Students’ Experiences of Teamwork: Dealing with Conflicting Identities during a Team-based Academic Writing Project in a Clinical Medical Practice Programme." The International Journal of Diversity in Education 19 (1): 11-25. doi:10.18848/2327-0020/CGP/v19i01/11-25.
  • Extent: 15 pages

Abstract

The efficacy of teamwork has created space for team-based learning (TBL) as an instructional approach in many higher education curricula. University students especially in the Health Sciences are expected to demonstrate the ability to work in teams. In fact, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) identifies teamwork as one of the core competencies for work readiness. Although the ability to work in a team has become a critical graduate attribute, many undergraduate students still resist and contest academic projects that require teamwork. This article employs qualitative methods and emerging principles of teamwork to analyse the experiences of forty-five first-year students in an academic literacy module for a Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice (BCMP) programme at a South African University. It examines critical reflections collected after a group academic writing project to understand how students deal with challenges of teamwork. Some of these challenges include the expectation to be flexible and adaptive to different and often conflicting identities of team members. This entails responding constructively to different learning attitudes/behaviours, coordinating different activities through effective communication and good leadership. Furthermore, the article explores the implications for using a team-based assessment approach to teach academic and collaborative literacies to BCMP students. Given the challenges encountered by students in this team-based project, this article recommends that the principles and processes of teamwork should be taught in BCMP courses. Also, a team-based project should be one of the main assessment modes in this programme.