Article

Learning about teams by participating in teams.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges (Impact Factor: 2.34). 08/2010; 85(8):1303-11. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181e5c07a
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As the work of academic health centers becomes increasingly oriented toward teams and collaboration, professional development in effective team skills becomes increasingly important. The authors sought to determine whether a transdisciplinary program for enhancing teamwork was effective in educating individual team members to translate lessons into productive outcomes of their own institutions' teams.
Between 2006 and 2008, the authors used the Learning in Teams model of collaborative team development to design and implement two applications of a national professional development program for members of academic organizations' teams. The purpose of the program was to foster individual skill development in collaborative teamwork. Using pre/post surveys to determine changes in team functioning over the course of the program, the authors evaluated participants' perceptions of the effectiveness of their professional development programs' learning teams and of their home institutions' teams. They analyzed narrative reports of participants' institutional teams' progress for elements including team task management, member dynamics, and institutional outcomes.
Pre/post self-assessments of team performance and participants' progress reports on their home teams revealed enhancement of team skills, including clarifying team charge, exploring team purpose, and evaluating team process. Program participants improved their team skills and enhanced productivity of their institutions' teams.
The Learning in Teams model can support individual team skills development, enhance institutional team performance in academic health centers, and provide a basis for research in team skills development and team process improvement. It can be adapted to various programs to enhance skills in teamwork.

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