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Follow-up: Collaborative team activity for online OB class

  • 1.  Follow-up: Collaborative team activity for online OB class

    Posted 01-25-2021 14:44
    Last week I asked the group for recommendations for collaborative team activities to use with an online graduate OB class that can be completed in around 30 minutes. As promised, I've complied the responses I received below.

    I ended up using the Lost at Sea exercise https://insight.typepad.co.uk/lost_at_sea.pdf  I've used it in UG classes before, and it translated well for MBAs and online delivery. I created Excel worksheets for them to use which also made the scoring faster. I also asked questions regarding team functioning, roles, task conflict, pacing, member engagement, and communication. The only downside is that a few of them had done it before. 

    With thanks to Bill Becker:

    I've used the Harvard Everest team challenge. Costs $15 per student but the mechanics and materials are very good. In person, I have been using Pandemic and Flash Point which are cooperative board games.

    With thanks to Adam Kleinbaum:

    I recently did the Grogan Air exercise with a group and found that it works pretty well online.  I've also used Speed Ventures (aka Carter Racing) – it works great in person and I suspect it would work well online too.  Both are group decision-making exercises, not really collaborative activities. 

    With thanks to Sofya Isaakyan:

    Sometime ago, Patricia Satterstrom shared an online version of a Broken Squares exercise. Here is the link that she openly shared so that others could get a copy of the exercise: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1uKSat05OpMU5k6rLYDWxKjU3UpriuH8w?fbclid=IwAR3tpeBT-grmFDsnKVlbM9heL7kvMC2yYkPMQO96EIkPRXAMBSN8njI8r_w 

    I used the exercise in my MBA class, and it worked really well! It was very powerful to demonstrate the role of team coordination, interdependence, and potential conflict between individual and team goals. 

    With thanks to Scott Furtwengler:

    Miro.com is a web-based collaborative app. I have used it conducting Design Thinking workshops for brainstorming/ideation, creative tasks, and teamwork tasks. As the user, you create a virtual board where the students can place virtual post-it notes on to boards and frames that you design for your suited purpose...in real time. Everyone views the boards remotely as they are being populated. This might be useful in guiding your decision on which team building tasks to assign.

    With thanks to Emily David:

    You could do a virtual murder mystery or a virtual escape room. The only issue is that these take longer (around an hour) to do:




     With thanks to Frank Markow:

    An activity I have used in the classroom, that translates OK using Zoom breakout rooms for team building:

    Do a set-up such as:

    Your team has been asked by the CEO to develop a new product for (whatever company / sector you think will be fun). Your team has to complete the following tasks:

    • Come up with the new product (use your imagination)
    • Come up with some basic marketing info: who is if for, features, benefits etc.
    • Come up with a slogan … bonus points for a jingle (this is always fun).

     They have to be prepared to report back to the class all of these things. 

    Ground rules for the collaboration:

    • Each team member must participate in the presentation
    • They must praise (or rebuff) each other along the way
    • No conflict allowed! (this is always an interesting one to debrief)

    Then, I let them make their presentations. Afterwards, as a class we talk about their experience, things like: 

    • How did it feel to be a member of a new group of people, and have to perform together under pressure?
    • Did you experience the stages of team formation?
    • Did anyone try to dominate / take leadership?
    • Did anyone sit back and let others do the work?

    (some of this may be awkward, but they can see the point pretty fast here..)

    • How did you handle disagreements (or were there any..?)

     Anyhow, this is always a fun activity, not only to experience a team event, but to demonstrate some of the common issues that come up.

    Lisa Penney
    USF Sarasota-Manatee
    Sarasota FL
    (941) 359-4653