Course description 2021/2022

Course description 2021/2022

Experts in Teamwork (EiT)

Academic responsibility: Bjørn Sortland

The professor (village supervisor) and village theme for each village are presented on the websites:
www.ntnu.no/eit (Norwegian) and www.ntnu.edu/eit ( English)

Course credits: 7.5

Taught only in the spring semester

Intention

In Experts in Teamwork, students develop teamwork skills by reflecting on and learning from specific teamwork situations in carrying out a project. Students work in interdisciplinary teams with participants from diverse programmes of study. Interdisciplinary teamwork is used to develop students’ cooperative skills. The purpose is to improve project work. Relevant problem areas from society and working life form the starting point for this teamwork. Internal and external partners receive feedback on the student teams’ project results.

Learning method

The learning method in EiT is experience-based. A key aspect of the learning process is the situations that arise as team members work together across their disciplines. Students develop teamwork skills by reflecting on these situations throughout the project. Team members perform reflection activities together, stimulated by facilitation as well as a variety of exercises such as writing down reflections, exercises in teamwork, and feedback. The Experts in Teamwork Academic Section creates the professional foundation for facilitation, which is carried out by the village supervisor and learning assistants.

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge

  • Students have gained knowledge about group processes and are familiar with key concepts and prerequisites for good teamwork.
  • Based on experience from the team, students can describe the prerequisites for good interdisciplinary teamwork.
  • Students have insight into how their teamwork is influenced by their own behaviour patterns and attitudes, as well as those of others.

Skills

  • Students can apply their academic learning in cooperation with people from other subject areas, and jointly define problems and find solutions to them.
  • Students can apply fundamental group theory and concepts to describe their own specific collaborative situations.
  • Students can reflect on their teamwork and analyse the way that the group communicates, plans, decides, accomplishes tasks, handles disagreements and relates to professional, social and personal challenges.
  • Students can provide constructive feedback to the individual team member and to the team as a whole and can reflect on feedback from the team.
  • Students can take initiatives (actions) that encourage cooperation, and they can contribute to changing patterns of interaction to create more productive, constructive and social collaboration in a group.

General competence

  • Students have extended their perspective on their own specialized knowledge in their encounter with skills from other disciplines. They can communicate and apply skills they have developed in their own field in collaboration with students from other disciplines.
  • Students can collaborate with people from other disciplines, and they can contribute to realizing the potential of their combined interdisciplinary expertise.

Framework

Students in EiT are divided into villages of up to 30 students, and each village is divided into interdisciplinary teams of five to six students.  The language of instruction is either English or Norwegian. Each village is headed by a lecturer, called the village supervisor. In addition, two learning assistants in each village facilitate the student teams. 

Each village has a broad overall theme related to societal issues or working life. This theme forms the basis for the student team’s project work. The village may have external partners who may serve as advisers and recipients of the students’ work. 

The village themes are presented on the EIT website, and the desired combination of subjects in the villages is specified as a guide to help students choose a village. 

Students submit their preferences for five villages in order of priority through StudentWeb by 1 November each year.  To ensure interdisciplinary teams in the villages, each student is encouraged to choose at least two villages from a faculty other than the one the student comes from. Students are allocated to the villages on the basis of their preferences, the village’s need for competence in various disciplines, and the number of places in the village. NTNU in Gjøvik and NTNU in Ålesund each have their own framework, presented on the EiT web pages.

Learning activities

Teaching consists of both teacher- and student-led activities. At the beginning, activities are arranged to introduce the students to each other. The village theme is presented to the students, who draw up a cooperation agreement in the team. The student team prepares a proposal for their project based on the village theme and the individual student’s academic competence and interests. After approval by the village supervisor, the student team works with the project throughout the semester or the intensive period. The student team is responsible for following up the cooperation agreement and for revising it if necessary.
The members of the student team are facilitated while they work. Facilitation involves being observed and receiving feedback on the interaction in the team. Students write both personal reflections and team reflections. Reflections initiated by facilitation and writing of reflections provide the basis for understanding how the individual member’s actions influence the teamwork. The team must initiate actions that increase its awareness of its teamwork, and take action to improve its teamwork if necessary. What is meant by “actions” is defined in the assessment criteria. The effect of the actions must be evaluated.

Compulsory assignments

  • Attendance is compulsory.
  • Preparation of a cooperation agreement between the members of the student team during the first two village days.
  • Oral presentation of the project and a dialogue about the teamwork in the student team when the teaching ends.

The compulsory activities must be approved by the village supervisor before the final reports are submitted for assessment. It is a prerequisite that the entire student team participates.

Final reports

These consist of a project report and a process report by the students. The project report must describe the student team’s problem formulation and the result of the project work. The process report must describe the collaboration in the team and what the individual has experienced and learnt through shared reflection on relevant situations from the project teamwork. Expectations for the student team’s work and criteria for the evaluation are described in the Guide for Students: Experts in Teamwork.

Form of assessment

The final project report and process report by the student team are assessed in relation to the grading scale A–F. The team receives one common grade.

The project report and the process report are each worth 50% of the final grade.

In the event of a fail grade or a resit of a passed examination, the entire course must be repeated.

Attendance

EiT is taught in the spring semester:

  • Intensive villages: Daily attendance for three weeks in January (time: 08:00-16:00)
  • Semester-based villages: Attendance each Wednesday throughout the semester (time: 08:00-16:00)

Required previous knowledge

EiT is normally compulsory in all programmes of study at second-degree (master’s) level at NTNU. The programme descriptions for the programmes of study provide information about the stage in the programme at which EiT is to be completed and whether EiT can be taken as an intensive or semester-based course. Other students may apply for admission to EiT, but must be qualified for admission to a master’s programme in order to participate. Students must be able to speak the language of instruction (Norwegian or English).

Course materials

  • Book of Reflections for students in Experts in Teamwork, distributed at the start of studies
  • Guide for Students: Experts in Teamwork, which is available at the EIT website
  • Compendium for students in Experts in Teamwork, which will be made available digitally

Approved by Rector as the governing body for EiT.