Evaluation of Changes in Teamwork Perceptions after Experiencing a Diverse Team
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting
Teamwork, teamwork perceptions, pharmacy students
Objectives: Working in teams during professional school prepares students for collaborating with future team members. The objective is to evaluate whether attitudes and perceptions of working on a team change over the course of a semester.
Method: To achieve diversity among the teams, P1 and P2 students were assigned to teams based on demographics (i.e., ethnicity and gender), personality type, and StrengthsFinder® data. Students were surveyed prior to the start of fall semester (when teams were announced) as well as prior to the spring semester. The survey (15 items, 5-point Likert-type, strongly agree-strongly disagree) assessed attitudes and perceptions of working in teams as well as the optimal team diversity. Descriptive statistics and paired t-tests were performed using SPSS v.21.0, with α=0.05 for statistical significance.
Results: Students at two universities (P1=122, P2=114) completed the assessments. Student perceptions significantly changed on 7 of 15 questions (p<0.05), and there were no differences between universities. As the semester progressed, more students were unsure or agreed that working in teams consisting of different learning styles (65%) or personality types (68%) improved interpersonal communication. Students also were more likely to agree or strongly-agree that teams can produce excellent outcomes (82%). Furthermore, students were more likely to disagree that they had to assume more work in a team setting (86%).
Implications: Understanding the different characteristics that encompass a successfully functioning group can help in designing effective teams. Working in diverse teams can improve team functioning and alter student perceptions and attitudes towards teamwork.
Hopper, Andrea D.; Kiersma, Mary E.; Sheppard, Lorin; Chen, Aleda M.H.; Frame, Tracy R.; and Gryka, Rebecca J., "Evaluation of Changes in Teamwork Perceptions after Experiencing a Diverse Team" (2014). Pharmacy Practice Faculty Presentations. 303.