What is Experts in Teamwork (EiT) - questions and answers

What is Experts in Teamwork (EiT) - questions and answers

What is the Experts in Teamwork course? (EiT)

EiT is NTNU’s signature course. Every spring, about 3000 students complete the course in Trondheim, Gjøvik and Ålesund. 

The aim of EiT is to give each student:   

  • a broader perspective on their own academic competence 
  • training in giving and receiving constructive feedback 
  • an understanding of the prerequisites for good interdisciplinary collaboration 
  • experience in taking advantage of the skills in an interdisciplinary team 

EiT is important because: 

  • Cooperation is an integral part of working life. Teamwork skills rank high on the list of what enterprises look for in graduates.  
  • Strong teamwork skills can help to create new ideas and innovative solutions – both in the workplace and in tackling major societal challenges. 
  • The ability to give and receive constructive feedback is a valuable skill – for an employee, a manager, or a consultant.  

What will you do in the course, and how will you learn about teamwork?

What will you do in the course, and how will you learn about teamwork?

Practice is a better way of learning skills in interdisciplinary cooperation than sitting in a lecture hall. This is because cooperation is something you do – it is a practical skill that can be trained. But how?

How can you maximize the full potential of the team? How can you make the most of each individual’s resources? Trust in each other is an important prerequisite. This improves the chances that team members will dare to take up some space and be open and honest with the others in the team. To support this, EiT conducts a variety of “Getting-to-Know-You” exercises at the start of the course, such as name exercises, Living Maps, spontaneous quizzes and structured mingling. The exercises can be fun and lighten up the atmosphere in the room.

Later, there will be other types of exercises, but these have a different purpose: to provide an opportunity for reflection and discussion on various aspects of the teamwork and to create a good setting for giving and receiving feedback.

All students have previous experience of working in groups, but they may not have thought about how the actual process of working together functioned. In EiT, students are asked to reflect on situations that occur in the team “here and now”. Then they need to express what is happening in words and reflect on this. 

  • Why is it that some people talk more than others do?  
  • How did we actually make the decision that we were going to work this way? 
  • How are we using each other’s skills to solve this problem? 

Writing down reflections is a regular routine in the work. This helps to capture thoughts and reactions that would otherwise have disappeared, and it is helpful when the team finally writes a process report in which they analyse the cooperation between the team members. 

EiT uses facilitators to help the teams become aware of their own cooperation and interaction

The facilitators observe the teams while they interact. They share what they see and hear (for example, who talks the most, who talks to each other, how decisions are made), so that afterwards the team can take stock and talk together about how they actually work together. 

The facilitators are students who work as learning assistants at NTNU. Each EiT course has two facilitators. 

In EiT, students get training in giving and receiving feedback about each other in constructive ways. The feedback is directed at oneself, other team members, and the team as a whole. Student surveys show that feedback is important for the students’ learning outcomes in the course. 

Awareness about how one is communicating and interacting is important for good teamwork, and feedback may help to increase understanding of oneself in interaction with others.

Students work on a project of their choice within the overall theme of the village. The villages are led by teaching staff from most of the academic communities at NTNU, so the range of themes is broad. Examples of themes include:

Also see examples of previous projects in EIT and the list of villages.

Continuation of projects

Spark NTNU is a free mentoring service for all students at NTNU. Spark helps students with funding and further development – whatever stage they have reached with their idea. 

Does your student team believe that the idea or concept you have worked with in EiT may have potential? Do as hundreds of other NTNU students have done: register the idea to get free mentoring. 

Many villages in EiT have external partners. 

These may include partners within the university (specific research communities or the environments around NTNU’s thematic areas of focus), private- or public-sector enterprises, or voluntary organizations.

The partners help to shed light on the village theme at the start-up of the village and have an ongoing dialogue with the student teams during their work. At the end of the semester, the student teams present the results to the external partners.

Our cooperation with Experts in Teamwork has been a positive experience. The student teams’ projects give us an opportunity to gain fresh impulses and think from a different perspective, making us more conscious of our own activities. 
Ole Oxhovd Svalesen, Project Manager Mot og Mestring [Courage and Mastery], the Church City Mission, Trondheim


For us, it was motivating that we had a real-world recipient for our project, and it was inspiring to work with a project that was actually useful to someone.” 
Student team in the village Urban Cultivation – Roof Gardens in Trondheim

In some villages that have not established collaboration with external partners, the student teams themselves contact one or more parties that they believe have an interest in their project.

EiT is NTNU’s signature course, and it is compulsory for students in master’s programmes and programmes of professional study in Trondheim, Gjøvik and Ålesund. 

  • During the spring semester, about 3000 students take the course. The students are divided into classes called villages, each with up to 35 people.
  • Each village has a unique course code, but they all share a common course description, which is approved by the Rector of NTNU. 
  • Each village has a course lecturer (the village supervisor) and two facilitators (learning assistants), who are jointly responsible for planning and carrying out the teaching in the particular village. 
  • All faculties at NTNU offer a number of villages. 

The Experts in Teamwork Academic Section works on the quality of the course and development of pedagogical practice, training of the teaching staff, dissemination, research and administration of the course throughout NTNU.