June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Educational Research and Methods
26.1573.1 - 26.1573.33
The role of ‘togethering’ in developing teamwork relationships and shared meaningMany design courses require students to create a team project with deliverables representing thecontributions of the entire team. To better understand how these teams work together, aqualitative study was conducted using video recordings of team meetings in two large first-yeardesign courses, supplemented with stimulated recall interviews with individual team members.Critical incidents around decisions, shared understandings, team movement or conflicts wereused to prompt recall and interpretation in the interviews. Using twelve individual behavioursdetermined to be critical to successful team work [reference redacted], we found that a number ofteams exhibiting the same behaviours and language, pursuing superficially equivalent goals(designing a solution to a practical problem) created very different team work environments andrelationships. How were teams exhibiting the same behaviours creating different teamenvironments?Grounded in an activity theory perspective, we explored how the interactions -- specifically theways students used the behaviours, language, gestures and visual elements -- have helped us tobegin to answer this question. Combining the data from both the video recordings and theinterviews, we observed we have labelled ‘togethering’-- “an analytical category that accountsfor the ethical manner in which individuals engage, respond, and tune to each other, despite theircognitive, emotional, and other differences” (Radford & Roth, 2011) -- as the differentiatingfactor across these teams. ‘Togethering’, and more specifically what the team ‘togethered’around, allowed us to articulate how the teams were working in visibly different manners despiteappearing to do the same activity. In teams that ‘togethered’ it was possible to see in the videorecordings how student use of language, gesture, drawings, etc. supported their pursuit of acollectively motivated object (Leont’ev, A. N., 1981).This paper will investigate ‘togethering’ at two levels: first, as an investigation of behaviours andmechanisms that allowed the students observed to create effective teamwork environments; andsecond, as a means of understanding the ways students use language, gesture and visual elementsto create shared meanings even when the language is not linguistically perfect/accurate. Throughcombining these two objectives, we will ultimately explore the ways the researchers haveleveraged team interactions to create a deeper theoretical and practical understanding of therelationship of context, interaction and learning in design-team work.
Sheridan, P. K., & Kinnear, P., & Evans, G., & Reeve, D. (2015, June), The Role of ‘Togethering’ in Developing Teamwork Relationships and Shared Meaning Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24907
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