“It’s not all about me” – Authentic assessment for teamwork skills and attributes: A work in progress

Workshop Presenters: Kay Hammond, Jane Morgan & Helen Gaeta

Higher education institutions commonly prepare future healthcare workers to engage in increasingly complex, healthcare environments through interprofessional education (IPE). A vital component of successfully providing quality healthcare is for workers from several health care disciplines to work collaboratively in teams. Knowing how students learning of teamwork capabilities progresses is important for designing appropriate learning and assessment experiences.  

Our study used a longitudinal approach by obtaining students’ experiences, perceptions and developing understanding of teamwork from the start of their undergraduate studies with little teamwork experience, through to completion of five semesters of group or teamwork projects. Through focus groups and interviews, we explored student learning in terms of their actual experiences, their focus at designated points of their undergraduate group work, and the meaning they attributed to being a member of a team. 

Our findings revealed that student perceptions of successful teamwork changed over time from a focus on outcome-based goals such as grades and equal participation, to an expanded concept of developing relationships and working with personal differences. By mapping these processes of learning over time, educators can gain a clearer understanding of various influences and experiences that impact on student learning in teamwork. This understanding can be used to develop authentic assessments to enable development of interprofessional teamwork capabilities. 

Attendees at this workshop will engage in activities that explore authentic assessment possibilities for developing interprofessional teamwork capabilities. Facilitators will share their research findings and in small groups, attendees will discuss one of the three progressive learning dimensions, focusing on their own/colleagues’ experiences of promoting/observing student engagement in teamwork in their work contexts. Attendees will then discuss the development of an authentic assessment process that enables students to experience, reflect on, and develop teamwork capabilities.

Dr Kay Hammond, Jane Morgan and Helen Gaeta are Senior Lecturers in Interprofessional Health Studies. Kay is passionate about teaching and learning. She combines her experiences as a learning advisor and faculty staff member to develop resources and experiences to assist students’ learning and their sense of becoming a professional. Jane develops, implements and evaluates interprofessional education initiatives, across the Faculty, to support students’ learning with from and about each-other for collaborative health care practice. Helen’s educational philosophy emerges from her research in cognitive neuroscience. She believes brain networks, underpinning new learning, are best exercised to develop when a person is placed in an immersive experiential space. This informs her teaching practice.