High Performance Teamwork (Seeking Stakeholder Input on a New Course)

High-performance teamwork (TEAM) is the name of a prospective course at FAU. Its primary goal is to teach students skills and competencies of high-performance teamwork. Topics covered include communication and listening, conflict management and resolution, motivation and engagement, among others. The course is project-based and students learn by doing and reflecting upon doing in a sequence of projects of increasing complexity. We are seeking broad stakeholder input for the design and execution of this course.

What should be its content?

Current topics we are considering for inclusion in the course are (1) interpersonal communication and dynamics, (2) giving and receiving feedback, self-reflection, (3) team formation and development, (4) conflict recognition, management, and resolution, (5) motivation, engagement, and goal-setting, (6) interdisciplinarity, (7) intercultural and diversity aspects, (8) forms of leadership, (9) career and career development.

What else should we be considering? What should we be dropping?

How should students learn?

The current course design structures student learning into a sequence of projects of increasing complexity, where each project lets students use, experience, and reflect upon some of the key skills and competencies to be acquired. Each project therefore is expected to have a conceptual part (lecture), a formal team meeting (possible as an exercise guided by a coach), and free project work not managed by the instructors. The course runs for a semester so that the first project may only take one week, the second project may take two weeks, etc. and the last project should take about half of the semester. Except for the final project, students are randomly assigned to projects, for the last project, students choose teams themselves.

How else could we structure student learning? How can we make it real and experiential?

Who can help us teach?

As conceived, this course is broad and interdisciplinary. Few, if any, instructors can cover all topics. The course could possibly draw a large number of students. So we need your help. We need instructors and we need teaching assistants.

Who would be interested in helping us teach a particular skill or competency? Helping us could mean lecturing or structuring exercises or defining assessment schemes for (the unavoidable) grading or something else.

Also, if you believe this would be an important course benefitting any FAU recruits to your company, which professor do you perhaps know and could suggest to that they contribute to its teaching by sending teaching assistants?

Who can we learn from?

Finally, we welcome any pointers to similar courses or concepts that we could learn from. Thank you!

Please send any feedback you may have to dirk.riehle@fau.de.