P420: Building effective learning teams
The development and growth of Learning Teams is essential for effective POGIL processes. Students must learn how to work with other students in order to construct knowledge and educators must assist in developing students’ process skills. The coordinated vertical alignment of departmental course teams and process-skill objectives imbedded in classroom lessons are one focus of this initiative. This study highlights the steps taken to create collaborative, and effective departmental course teams in order to implement and support the POGIL processes. This study also highlights the steps taken in the beginning of the academic year, to establish a foundation for the students understanding of how to participate in a Learning Team. Throughout the academic year, these process skills are taught to students to continually expand their understanding of how to collaborate and be an effective member within a Learning Team. A review of literature served as the foundation of our course team discussions. The implementation of the POGIL process was then undertaken with a “let’s jump in” attitude. After initial roll out, we reported back to our course and vertical teams where we discussed successes, failures, concerns, questions and issues which became apparent. We addressed those issues and “jumped back in.” We found that effective Learning Teams take time to build. Teachers need a supportive, professional, safe opportunity to share comments/concerns in order to work through the problems of transitioning from a teacher-led classroom to a student-led learning environment.