Course description 2022/2022

Course description 2022/2022

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. There are opportunities for enabling the external partners of a student team to use the results of work carried out by the team.  

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 provides village supervisors and learning assistants with academically grounded training and supervision in facilitation.

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 use 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 extent of online cooperation varies between the villages, from “virtual villages”, where all the village days take place online, to “on-campus villages”, where all the village days take place in person. If the students have chosen a virtual or hybrid village, which involves online participation, it is a prerequisite that they take part using both a camera and microphone. 

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. The website also provides information about the village language, the type of village (intensive or semester-based), the extent of online teamwork and other relevant information about each 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. 

Whether the student teams meet in person or virtually, a significant part of their cooperation must take place synchronously, which is a prerequisite for developing teamwork skills. For this reason, there is compulsory attendance at the villages during the specified village hours (normally 08:00–16:00).

Learning activities

Teaching consists of both teacher- and student-directed 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 draws up 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 student team is facilitated while the members work. To be facilitated 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 the prerequisites for good collaboration and how the individual member’s actions influence the teamwork.  

Compulsory assignments

  • Attendance is compulsory.  
  • The student groups must draw up a cooperation agreement between the members of the student team during the first two village days.  
  • The student groups must give an oral presentation of the project and participate in 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 learned 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 in Experts in Teamwork”.  

Form of assessment

The final reports (the project report and the process report) by the student team are assessed according to the grading scale A–F. The team receives one common grade.  

The project report is worth 50 % and the process report is 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)
  • Virtual villages: Time for attendance can be adjusted to the student group, with a core time on Wednesdays, and a total of 8 hours per week.

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 a semester-based course.

For hybrid villages, it is the village supervisor who decides for each village day whether attendance is to be in person or online – this is not a matter for the team or individual students to decide themselves. 

Required previous knowledge

EiT is normally compulsory in all programmes of study at second-degree (master’s) level at NTNU. Other students may apply for admission to EiT, but they must be qualified for admission to a master’s programme in order to participate. 

Course materials

The following material must be made available at the start of the studies:

  • Guide for Students in Experts in Teamwork
  • Online course for students in Experts in Teamwork
  • Compendium for students in Experts in Teamwork
  • The Book of Reflections for students in Experts in Teamwork

Approved by Rector as the governing body for EiT.