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2. Forming teams online

2.1 About this chapter

Higher education has increasingly moved to online learning environments. At the same time, institutions need to equip their graduates for global virtual teamwork. Teamwork is an essential part of collaborative learning promoting shared learning [1].

To get the online teamwork rolling, an effective and supportive start is important. This chapter focuses on the team formation, aiming at introducing various team forming approaches and giving practical tools for educators at different digital >>proficiency levels, such as beginner, integrator, expert or innovator.

The main goal of this chapter is to ensure that trainees are able to achieve the following learning goals:

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Read more on co-operative and collaborative learning: >>Digitally enhanced collaboration

Preparations: Time for preparation varies between 30 and 120 minutes, depending on how familiar the educator is with the chosen platform and material.

Online session or activity: For the actual team formation, including guidance, it is good to reserve 20-30 minutes.

Time allocation for team members’ introductions and work on the team rules and practices, depends on several factors: number of teams, number of members in each team, students’ familiarity with the topics, familiarity with other team members, need for technical support etc. Minimum for this process stage is about 60 minutes.

Consider reserving time for additional team warm-up activities.