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Closing the Collaborative Skills Gap: Assessing the Effectiveness of a University-Wide Course Designed to Teach Students How to Collaborate in Diverse Groups

Photo of Principal Investigator Kathryn PlaisancePhoto of Co-Investigator Christine Logel

Grant recipients:

Kathryn Plaisance, Knowledge Integration

Christine Logel, Social Development Studies, Renison University College

(Project timeline: May 2018-April 2019)

Description

Collaboration is an essential skill for solving complex problems, and consequently is in high demand by employers. While undergraduate students at UW often have the opportunity to do group work in their courses, many of them aren’t explicitly taught how to collaborate well. Thus, there is a gap between what students are taught and what they’re expected to know when they graduate. Building on a previous LITE grant that examined and started to address this gap (see below), the PI designed a course called “Making Collaboration Work,” open to all students at UW. The goal of this project is to assess the effectiveness of this course regarding students’ attitudes and abilities with respect to group work. We will do so by administering, analyzing, and comparing entrance and exit surveys for students in the course, as well as examining students’ reflections on their group experiences and their individual strengths and weaknesses.

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