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Transform Any Team of Experts Into an Expert Team: Part 2

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The previous blog in this series discussed existing research on how to help a team of individual experts become an expert team. In Part 1, we concluded that learning and performance interventions increase team performance, but that it wasn’t particularly clear what these interventions should look like. Further examination is required.

First, in order to identify where a team “is” (in other words, its current level of performance), you need to start with analyzing the team’s expected performance outcome(s), as well as the competencies needed to achieve that performance outcome. You also need to be aware of the phase that the team is in (based on the TEAM model in Figure 1).

Figure I. Essentials of the TEAM Model

Figure I. Essentials of the TEAM Model
Source: Team Effectiveness and Team Development in CSCL, Fransen et. al

Now, let’s assume the analysis is done and you’ve explicated the task or teamwork gaps that the team needs to strengthen. To make the tools and examples more concrete, we’ll use the following goal: Improve the collaborative decision-making process during a project.

Let’s take a look at how this would play out:

Neelan Set the Stage
Neelan Set the Stage 2
Neelan Design and Implement
Neelan Design and Implement 2
Last but not least, you need to regularly and systematically evaluate the team’s journey towards becoming an expert team. This evaluation needs to be multi-dimensional. It’s impossible to spell out a concrete example without a real-world context, however, you can – for example – use Will Thalheimer’s book Performance-Focused Smilesheets to create valuable questions for all team members to (repeatedly?) answer. In addition to this subjective way of evaluating, you also need to find a way to measure team outcomes more objectively, such as through structurally monitoring decision-making outcomes.

We need those expert teams badly and you can help them to get where they need to be.

Further Reading

Ausubel, D.P., (1968). Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Burke, C.S., Salas, E., Wilson-Donnelly, K., & Priest, H., (2004). How to turn a team of experts into an expert medical team: guidance from the aviation and military communities. Quality & Safety Health Care, 13, i96-i104.

Fransen, J., Weinberger, A., & Kirschner, P.A., (2013). Team effectiveness and team development in CSCL. Educational Psychologist, 48, 9-24.

Salas, E., DiazGranados, D., Klein, C., Shawn Burke, C., Stagle, K. C., Goodwin, F., & Halpin, S. M., (2008). Does team training improve team performance? A meta-analysis. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 50, 903-933.

Thalheimer, W., (2016). Performance-Focused Smile Sheets: A Radical Rethinking of a Dangerous Art Form. Work-Learning Press.

About the Author

Mirjam Neelen is a learning experience design expert and a learning and development consultant with more than 10 years of industry experience, working at companies such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Google. In her current role at the Learnovate Centre, she leads the learning design processes across various industry segments, such as multinationals, small and medium enterprises, start-ups, and higher education. Mirjam analyses business and performance challenges in close collaboration with her customers, delivers technology-enhanced innovative, effective, and impactful learning strategies and upskills customers to enable them to implement the strategies. She presents about projects regularly; both internally to industry partners and externally at conferences. She has completed an MSc in Learning Sciences and published an article, based on her thesis, in the International Journal of Knowledge and Learning. Prior to working as a learning experience designer, she completed an MA in Psycholinguistics and a BA in Speech Therapy. She started her career as a speech therapist, working with adults with aphasia and children with various neurological disorders.

About the Author

Paul A. Kirschner is university distinguished professor at the Open University of the Netherlands as well as visiting professor of education with a special emphasis on learning and interaction in teacher education at the University of Oulu, Finland. He is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of educational psychology and instructional design. He is research fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Science. He was president of the International Society for the Learning Sciences (ISLS) in 2010-2011, member of both the ISLS CSCL Board and the Executive Committee of the Society, and he is an AERA Research Fellow (the first European to receive this honor). He is currently a member of the Scientific Technical Council of the Foundation for University Computing Facilities (SURF WTR) in the Netherlands and was a member of the Dutch Educational Council and, as such, was advisor to the Minister of Education (2000-2004). He is chief editor of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, associate editor of Computers in Human Behavior, and has published two very successful books: Ten Steps to Complex Learning (now in its second revised edition and translated/published in Korea and China) and Urban Legends about Learning and Education. He also co-edited two other books ( Visualizing Argumentation and What We Know about CSCL). His areas of expertise include interaction in learning, collaboration for learning (computer supported collaborative learning), and regulation of learning.

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this link is broken "previous blog in this series ". I am interested in Part 1 as well....Can this be fixed?
Thanks, Angie
Hi Angie - so sorry about that - it's fixed!
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