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Running title: Effects of Teamwork on Building a Learning Community

By Hasan Cakir


Nowadays the competitive world environment forces people to be equipped with new knowledge and skills that help them adapt to changes. In the past, the amount of education and the number of skills that were taught in the schools were sufficient for people to get a position and sustain it as they advanced in one profession. In contrast, contemporary world conditions that change drastically from one year to the next, require people to gain new skills, to continue to develop their knowledge both, on the small scale, to sustain their professional position and to provide continuous development their organizations in order to sustain the pertinence and productivity of their society on a big scale (Toeffler, 1980). At the same time, the schools ’ role in society has been transforming from preparing knowledge consumers to preparing knowledge producers into the outside world (Reigeluth, 1999). Building learning communities is a way to create knowledge producers (Senge, 1990). An instructional strategy necessary to implement building learning communities is teamwork (Nelson, 1999). The research question of this study is “how building a learning community via teamwork is effective in terms of learner satisfaction and faculty expectations”? This study investigates the aspects of building a learning community through teamwork from the perspectives of faculty members, advanced doctoral students, and starting graduate (master’s / new PhD degree) students in a large Mid-Western university department. Findings of the study showed that teamwork was perceived differently by faculty and students. Each participant expressed different opinions about how teamwork in departmental courses and teamwork in outside of departmental courses worked. They expressed common concerns and positive sides about their teamwork experience. The interesting point about the findings is that faculty and students had different opinions about teamwork. Generally, students expressed their perceptions about teamwork as it was an optional activity, whereas faculty viewed it as an essential element of the instructional activities in the department

Topics: Instructional-Design Theories and Models
Year: 2011
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