“The Dream Team:” A Case Study of Teamwork in Higher Education

Tashieka S. Burris-Melville, Shalieka T. Burris


The integration of collaborative practices in essay writing within higher education constitutes a pivotal advantage, frequently producing outcomes surpassing those of independent composition endeavors. However, although collaboration is necessary and can yield many positive outcomes, a collaborative effort is not always successful. A paucity of empirical studies has highlighted the causes of the dysfunctions of teamwork in Jamaica. In higher education, participants often express frustration and unwillingness to engage in teamwork because of the various dysfunctions they are likely to experience. Consequently, in response to this gap, this case study explored both functional and dysfunctional attributes Academic Writing participants encountered at a university in Jamaica, as they worked collaboratively to complete their expository and argumentative essays. This mixed methods study collected data from interviews, peer reviews, and a questionnaire. The findings identified both functional and dysfunctional qualities. The results showed that the major functional attributes were clear communication, respect, commitment, and accountability. The main dysfunctional attributes were lack of trust, miscommunication, commitment, disrespect, and limited time management skills. Finally, this paper highlights best practices that educators can use to create and promote functional and effective teams in the teaching and learning environment.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v12n6p39


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