Improving Student Collaboration and Teamwork through Increasing Self-Awareness
Katarzyna Toskin Southern Connecticut State University
Abstract Teamwork can be one of the most challenging endeavors for Information Systems (IS) students. It affects student course experience, their learning outcomes, and ultimately the quality of the deliverable(s). Yet, it is one of the most widely used and sought after skills by employers. So how do we prepare IS students for effective teamwork in college and on the job?
One idea is to boost student self-awareness. Per Eurich (2018), self-awareness increases confidence, creativity, and collaboration, aids in building stronger relationships, better decisions, and more. However, only about 10% of people are truly self-aware and this number is much lower among students. To mitigate this gap, faculty can incorporate various activities into their courses to help students build self-awareness, preferably before any team assignments are introduced in the course. Some of such activities can include behavioral or personality assessments that can reveal their motivations, attitudes, emotions, and preferred ways of interacting with others.
Additionally, many employers utilize behavioral and/or personality assessments for new hires to ensure the positions are filled with the best fitting candidates (Bersin & Chamorro-Premuzic, 2019). Therefore, helping IS students learn about themselves during their college career can have long lasting positive effects not only for team based schoolwork but also during early career years. Having increased self-awareness early on can help IS students choose positions based on intrinsic motivation, what can lead to higher job satisfaction and performance (Moro et al., 2021).
Bersin, J., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2019). New ways to gauge talent and potential. MIT Sloan management review, 60(2), 1.
Eurich (2018), What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It), Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2018/01/what-self-awareness-really-is-and-how-to-cultivate-it
Moro, S., Ramos, R. F., & Rita, P. (2021). What drives job satisfaction in IT companies?. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 70(2), 391-407.