Collaborating Across a System: Nobody succeeds until everyone succeeds in this specialized learning activity
As a result of participating in this activity, learners will:
- Collaborate as a team to design and construct a crossword puzzle that includes as many target terms as possible.
- Collaborate with other teams to support their performance in a similar task.
- Assemble learners into teams of 5-6 using some method to ensure diversity/interprofessionalism on each team. Each team is to complete two tasks in sequence to complete this activity.
- The team is given a set of Bananagrams® (commercial product) and a word list. In a Bananagrams® set, there are 144 tiles; they are: A=13, B=3, C=3, D=6, E=18, F=3, G=4, H=3, I=12, J=2, K=2, L=5, M=3, N=8, O=11, P=3, Q=2, R=9, S=6, T=9, U=6, V=3, W=3, X=2, Y=3, Z=2. The target word list can be customized to the activity desired. Determine how many words from the list must be used for the team to have succeeded in the activity. Using the tiles in a crossword format, complete as many words from the target list as possible. The task is not complete, however, until all teams have succeeded.
- When a team has completed their list or exhausted their tiles, they are to assist other teams in the task. The task is considered complete only when all teams have successfully completed it.
- Variations: a) Consider using different word lists for different teams to avoid a single solution as those teams finishing early go out to help other teams. b) Remove needed letters from sets of tiles and move them to another set. For example, remove some or all of the “n”s needed to complete the word list for team A and move them to Team B’s set. In doing so, you will set up a dynamic that teams must be willing to share resources for all teams to succeed.
This activity requires preparation in the form of moving groups of tiles from one Bananagrams® set to another. This works well to demonstrate the need for collaborative work if everyone is to succeed.
SizeSmall Group, Medium Group
EquipmentMinimal Equipment - Sets of Bananagrams® and word lists, which can be topic-specific and generated by the players prior to starting the activity.
Belonging to a team means requires sorting through a variety of possible solutions that might all be considered either “correct” or at least acceptable.
- What went well?
- How did your team interact and reach solutions given the wide variety of possible outcomes in this activity?
- What strategies and process did you use to determine which words you would include and how you would lay out tiles?
- Given the possibility for many possible solutions, how did your team know when to reorganize tiles that had already been played? In what other forms of team interaction would you see similar changes and realignment of solutions?
For a patient with hypertension and hyperlipidemia there are several medications to treat each illness.
- How does a team make medication decisions?
- How is it known that those are the “correct” medications?
- How is conflict resolved if one team member has strong feelings about a certain medication?
IPEC CompetencyCC 1, 4-6
TT 1, 2 & 8
When working within system-wide goals, some units of the team may more easily complete their tasks than others. In this exercise, until all teams have successfully completed the challenge, no team has succeeded. Teams are responsible for the success of the entire system.
- If your team completed the tasks earlier in the exercise, how did you determine HOW to help other teams, and which other teams to help? Were the solutions for your team the same as they were for other teams?
- If your team utilized assistance to complete this challenge, what was it like to receive the counsel and support of members of another team? How do you think teams typically might respond if someone from another team came to them with suggestions for success?
- How might that have been different if teams had been appointed tasks that were essentially different from one another?
- What kinds of issues of power and pride do you think might become activated in a scenario like this within healthcare?
Consider that you are on a team that is first on the scene of a mass casualty disaster.
- How should the care team be organized?
- How can team members assist one another in caring for patients?
- How could power struggles impact patient care? What would be considered success in this situation?
TeamSTEPPS domainMutual Support
IPEC CompetencyVE 9-10
RR 2 & 9
Members may belong to a system in which other teams are attempting to complete a task that is similar to theirs or are dependent on the results of another team in order to achieve their own goals.
In our culture, we tend to focus on individual performance, yet on a collaborative team, members win or lose as a unit.
- In some systems, teams may be interdependently related. What are the pitfalls of both team and system successes when teams may need other teams to be successful in order for them to complete their own tasks?
- What dynamics would be important to consider when teams must monitor one another’s successes in order for a system-wide task to be complete?
- What strategies should team members, who serve as either consultants or simply messengers of information, remember when approaching and communicating with neighboring teams?
Using our mass casualty example:
- What happens if we need more of a particular resource, such as chest tube kits, than we have? How do we distribute these resources fairly?
- How can team members communicate their need for assistance with patient care?
- How can team members monitor the disaster situation in order to protect one another and their patients?
IPEC CompetencyCC 1, 4-6
SummaryTeam members must learn to look beyond their own immediate team needs to consider whether or not other elements of the system of which they are a part require support and/or assistance.
For more information about how to utilize games, low-fidelity simulation, and interactive learning to teach concepts of teamwork and collaboration, contact Better.Teams@rosalindfranklin.edu