Week 4 Reading and Resources

Site: SCoPE - BCcampus Learning + Teaching
Group: Facilitating Learning Online - FEB2015-OER
Book: Week 4 Reading and Resources
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Sunday, 19 May 2024, 7:40 AM


Week 4 Readings and Resources (Facilitating Online Teams)

Facilitating Online Teams

Cooperative, collaborative or team-based learning is widely hailed as an effective learning strategy in both online and face-to-face learning environments. In the following short video, RRU faculty member, Doug Hamilton reflects on what has surprised him about students learning together in teams.

Doug Hamilton (1:01)

Glover’s article (2000) looks closely at the value of group work in online environments and applies Tuckman’s Five Stages of Community Development to online group processes.

In teaching in an online MBA program, Lam et al (2005) share their observations of virtual team dynamics, articulating in particular the patterns of collaborative behaviour that help distinguish between poor and high team performance.

Team learning or online group projects present their own set of challenges. In the online course, group dynamics, communication, and conflict can be difficult to discern. Generally, people are quite polite in online teamwork; however, there can be sub-currents that can impair the group's effectiveness to work cohesively. The two-page pamphlet from Royal Roads University, Team Based Learning provides some tips on how to recognize when a team is in trouble. 

All the same dynamics that are at play in Tuckman's Five Stages of Group Development are still at play, but they are just more challenging to track in the online environment. Tuckman's five stages might not happen in sequence, or in every group situation, but understanding the dynamics involved in these different stages helps online instructors anticipate and plan for issues that might arise when students are engaged in team learning.

What happens when conflict occurs between online participants? How does an instructor diagnose, manage, and help to resolve the situation? The Dool, R. (2007, February) article and the short video clips from RRU faculty provide some solid advice on how to deal with team conflicts that may arise in online environment. 


Read and View


The facilitation team for this week's topic may choose to substitute an alternate reading for this week

  • Glover, N. (2003). Group Projects as a Catalyst for Online Learning Communities. California Virtual Campus.
    Note: While it's a little dated, this reading gives a good overview of Tuckman's five stages of group dynamics, and provides some tips about how to facilitate teams as they move through the stages.

  • Lam, W., Chua, A., Williams, J.B., & Lee, C. (2005). Virtual teams: Surviving or thriving? Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference, Brisbane, Australia (pp. 357-360).
    Note: This article is written by faculty who have a strong focus on team work that contributes to as much as 50% of student grades. Some good strategy suggestions for helping teams perform well together.

  • RRU - CTET. (2008, Fall). Team Based Learning. Tools for Teaching (T4T) Tipsheet, 1(3), 1-2.
    Note: This tip sheet is a short and sweet strategy document.

  • Dool, R. (2007, February). Best practices: Mitigating Conflict in Online Student Teams. eLearn Magazine, 2007(2), 2.
    Note: This article directly addresses the issue of conflict in teams. It gives effective, solid strategies based on experience.


Doree, Alan, Centre for Instructional Development and DL Support, (June 2011) 

Insights from Experienced Faculty: Working With Teams

Doug Hamilton (3:02)

Jen Walinga (:34)

Advice on Working with Teams

Jen Walinga (1:58)

Alicia Wilkes (1:48)

Doug Hamilton (2:05)