Team Projects and Student Development Outcomes

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities Office for Student Affairs has set forth the following characteristics of a successful student. Team projects serve as an excellent vehicle for helping students to develop these qualities.

Responsibility and Accountability: Through team projects, students learn to follow through on commitments to and expectations of team members.

Independence and Interdependence: A well-designed team project will allow students to work both individually as well as part of an interdependent team.

Goal Orientation: By providing project milestones and scaffolding the project steps, you are helping students to learn how to plan, stay motivated, and accomplish a meaningful goal.

Self Awareness: Team projects can help students identify and build upon their strengths.

Resilience: When students hit a bump in the road while working on their project, encouraging them to keep working towards their goal can help them develop a resilient perspective.

Appreciation of Differences: Each student brings his/her unique working style, background, and interests to the team. Team projects provide students with the setting to learn how to work effectively with others who may have a different approach.

Tolerance of Ambiguity: Uncertainty? Team projects are often full of it. Students who successfully complete a team project have shown that they can perform in situations in which there may not be a clear path to success.