Multidisciplinary team working in science distance learning

Nicholas, Victoria; Hirst, Mark; Chyriwsky, Sarah and Danby, Grahame (2022). Multidisciplinary team working in science distance learning. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning (Early access).



We describe findings from a study based upon a collaborative project carried out online as the end of module assessment activity of a multidisciplinary science module at the UK Open University. Our aim was to determine how well students dealt with working in a team of unfamiliar multidisciplinary scientists and to identify tools and processes that improved the team working experience. The principal source of data was in the form of reflective materials embedded in the module’s final assessment. A two-stage thematic analysis of student reflective narrative texts was performed to draw conclusions about student perceptions of the online team project. In the context of activity levels among the student teams, consistent differences in the way in which team members reflected upon their team working experience were apparent in three of the themes considered: participation, relationships and organisation. We provide a core checklist of actions that can be taken, by students and tutors, to enhance and improve the online collaborative experience.

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