Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours


School of Communications and Multimedia


Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries

First Supervisor

Dr Joseph Luca


Increasingly, there have been greater expectations from industry and employers that universities in Australian focus on developing student generic skills, core competencies or graduate attributes. As a result, key skills included in the mission statements of most universities tend to include higher-level aims relating to critical thinking, lifelong learning and teamwork. These generic skills and others, are considered essential for successful work place practice and universities are constantly being called upon to produce graduates that can show these skills. This is not an easy task, and universities are trying different approaches to try and satisfy these needs, e.g. e-portfolios and tracking key skills throughout the course of study. This study has focused on developing teamwork skills, and conducted a wide literature review to develop a model of team evolution for successful teamwork. A four-stage model was developed from the literature, which examined team development stages such as: pre-grouping issues (beyond students' control); team establishment issues; team operation issues (rules and standards); and ongoing operational issues for the duration of the project. The model was synthesised from the literature with a view to develop processes and rules that teams could undertake in order to be successful. Based on this literature review, a survey was developed and a pilot study was carried out with nine teams in the field of Multimedia and IT development to confirm the findings from the literature and the established team life cycle model. With the acknowledgement that only a small sample was used for this study and no robust statistical inference could be drawn, the results revealed that the established model was reasonably accurate in determining successful teams i.e. teams that demonstrated reasonable knowledge and abilities in teaming skills, developed team rules and processes, and focused on promoting collaboration and interpersonal relationships. The study was undertaken within the context of Multimedia/IT development in a higher education environment. It is hoped that the results of this study can not only benefit Multimedia/IT students when preparing for team-based assignments, but also students from other disciplines. In this way, this study may help provide one of the essential graduate attributes being called on by industry and employers.