Teamwork: An Open Access Practical Guide – Instructor Companion is the product of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and aligns with the goals of the university’s Maverick Advantage and Strategic Plan, along with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board TX 60×30 Initiative.
The purpose of the companion is to provide instructors with a resource in order to improve course outcomes when implementing teamwork and develop this in-demand, marketable skill that students can use in their careers. Both the student guide and companion are open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) license for anyone to use.
The idea for this project originated September 2018 during a series of conversations between Andrew M. Clark and Justin T. Dellinger. Clark put together an advisory committee within a few weeks while Dellinger initiated the development process with Michelle Reed, Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarian. During this time, responsibilities were determined and within two months, the team generated a first draft. Clark shared this draft with Peer Academic Leaders (PALs), graduate and undergraduate students, the advisory committee, and the Division of Student Success, who all provided invaluable feedback that fundamentally influenced the final format of the guide. They all appreciated the practical nature and overall readability but suggested making the guide more visual and less like a formal textbook. After revisions, Clark and Dellinger shared the resource at two Professional Learning Community (PLC) events (also part of the QEP). They finalized a PDF version and then transitioned into Pressbooks with help of the Library’s OER team and then worked to finalize the instructor companion.
How to Approach the Student Guide and Instructor Companion
The student guide is meant to be used in a variety of ways. The editors purposefully implemented a modularized layout in the student guide to make it easier to use whichever sections are most useful or appropriate. While some may choose to read it front to back, others might just choose one section that helps them with a particular course. In addition to the general content, there are additional resources and testimonials, as well as assessments that can help individuals and groups evaluate themselves.
The companion provides resources for course instructors, including discussion prompts, sample activities and lesson plans, case studies for teamwork at UTA, and other practical resources.