Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Communications and Multimedia
There is a growing emphasis in tertiary education that students should develop professional skills as part of their education. Skills such as problem solving, communication, collaboration, interpersonal skills, social skills and time management are actively being targeted by prospective employers as essential requirements for employability especially in team environments. Of these, employment authorities consistently mention collaboration and teamwork as being a critical skill, essential in almost all working environments. How then can students successfully practice teamwork skills in tertiary institutions in order to develop these skills? In this study, a group of final year multimedia students were investigated while completing a project-based unit, in which teamwork was an essential ingredient, couched in an authentic context. Student teams were required to develop web sites for “real” clients; with teamwork processes supported with on-line tools to monitor progress and contributions. At the end of the semester, successful and unsuccessful teams (in terms of collaboration and teamwork) were interviewed and surveyed to determine essential factors that promoted success. A framework was developed from the literature based on students’ Emotional Intelligence, and propensity to engage in collaborative teamwork. It was found that there was a strong correspondence between students’ Emotional Intelligence and team harmony.