Today’s Marshmallow Challenge Ted Speech is all about the power of productive teamwork. Many students in New College are working through group assignments as a final class projects. Generally, group assignments receive much resistance from students because “group projects” take more coordination and require effective communication skills. We’ve all been on teams where the process was painful or the outcome was less than wonderful. On the other hand, some of us have been part of terrific teams with strong outcomes. What makes a difference between the two? What makes a great team? What is the process of successful teams? and, “Why do some teams fall short of their goals?”
This speech by Tom Wujec’s was of particular interest to me because over the past ten days in the Communication Lab has been filled with fabulous teamwork in celebration of “Free Speech Week,” and ASU’s Homecoming. It was an exercise of collaboration and overcoming obstacles. Our Free Speech and Feminism installation saw over 300 visitors, almost 100 audience members attended the Free Speech Contest, approximately 50 people visited during the Lab’s open house, and 80 students attended the Civil Dialogue. As a part of the homecoming activities, mentors and directors were able to build CALL’s Facebook following to over 500 “Likes” – a challenge that seemed crazy three weeks ago.
Teamwork does take more effort, but the payoff is generally just a bit sweeter. It really doubles the learning – from one another and the task at hand. A terrific combination!