The Importance of Team Communication

Topics: Learning, Skill, Communication Pages: 5 (1756 words) Published: August 21, 2007
Communication is essentially the most important skill that any human being will ever have to learn. Communication includes approaching other human beings in verbal or nonverbal contact. In the Twenty-first-century, many academic environments are changing the way students learn. Schools are not a hierarchal model of a teacher in charge of a class of students. An example of a hierarchal model of education involves a teacher handing out an assignment and students completing the assignment, with no questions asked. In this particular hierarchal model, communication among classmates is often discouraged. Today, many academic environments are taking an equality approach to education and learning by working in small groups or teams of about 3-5 fellow students. According to Wallis (2006), in the Twenty-first-century, teachers are pressured to change the way they normally teach to meet the requirements and demands of society. Recently, most schools started teaching children how to work in groups. This idea benefits the children by helping them learn from one another and to contribute his or her work to the group. Research suggests that children learn more from this type of teaching method. The idea behind the learning team is to complete assignments and projects together. Team communication is essential for success because, team members learn from one another and share similar goals. Every person whom attends school is from a different walk of life. Each student has learned a piece of information that classmates or teammates may not know. In a learning team format, each person can teach and learn from one another. In order to teach effectively, and learn from team members, each member must use communication skills. An academic environment provides different methods to communicate among team members. The most important form of communication is to ask questions. When individuals ask questions, the critical-thinking process has begun. Asking questions helps team members integrate and interact with each other. One form of questioning team members is to ask for feedback. Feedback can consist of reactions, comments, compliments, or constructive criticism. Feedback is given to a student after asking teammates for input on ideas, assignments, and projects. Feedback is designed to help individuals improve on what has already been done. Asking questions and asking for feedback naturally leads to discussion. Discussions with fellow team members involve conversing about issues, problems, and group assignments. In discussions, conflict can arise among the learning team. Conflict can be good and bad for a learning team. Conflict is a disagreement that arises among many learning teams. Now, many schools are accepting the learning team concept. With this idea, students ask questions, engage in discussions, problem solve, and work out the differences. The phrase "peer learning," is a type of learning in which students work together to improve interaction between team members (Christudason, 2003). In an online learning community such as, the University of Phoenix, provides many methods to interact within the learning team. E-mail (electronic mail) is a program that is used to write personal information between team members that are not read by other classmates. The learning team forum is used to write information for all the team members to read and respond to the information. The discussion forums are used to discuss information about readings, assignments, and projects. Specifically, this forum is for all students and the instructor to read and respond. The Instant Messenger (IM) system is used to chat with individuals at the same time. The use of an Instant Messenger system is often discouraged, because it defeats the purpose of attending school online. Team members have to agree on a specific time to log on and chat to each other, about information that is important. This system is to be used in case of an emergency. The use of a telephone to...
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