Pieces of Puzzles
Teaching Team Collaboration
As a result of participating in this activity, learners will:
- Construct a list of component behaviors needed for a team to collaborate .
- Examine the importance of teams sharing a common goal, or seeing “the big picture” to facilitate collaborative processes.
- Assess and discuss the challenges of team members placed on multiple teams.
- Assemble learners into teams of 5-6 using some method to ensure diversity/interprofessionalism on each team.
- Collect multiple versions of children’s jigsaw puzzles with different images. You will use them separately and together. Depending on the choices of lessons and the cognitive load you are trying to generate, you may provide pieces from different puzzles in the same exercise.
This is a highly adaptable activity in terms of group size and in terms of the target lesson. Use puzzles from an inexpensive source, such as a dollar store.
SizeSmall Group, Medium Group
EquipmentMinimal Equipment - Puzzles
LessonDiversity on Teams
Provide each team member with one or more pieces of a puzzle, keeping the colored or image side on the table and looking only at the neutral back. Ask learners to describe puzzle pieces as if the person with whom they are interacting has no idea about diversity of contours, how pieces are interdependently interlocked, how each piece is unique, and how each piece is a combination of corners and rounded edges. Ask several people to describe their piece in such a way that others would know whether or not their own piece would interlock.
- How are puzzle pieces similar to members of a team?
- How would the task be similar/different if your team were not co-located?
- What information would be most important to have if you were trying to complete the puzzle?
- What strategies would you use to seek out and engage others with appropriate contours/pieces?
- How is a patient similar to a puzzle? Give an example.
- How are patient issues solved?
- What is the information you will need to solve the patient "puzzle"?
- How do you engage other team members to help you solve the patient problem?
IPEC CompetencyCC 1, 4 & 5
TT 1, 8, 10 & 11
LessonThe Impact of Limited Information
Challenge the team(s) to assemble their puzzles without looking at the image side (i.e. keep the neutral side up). Time the team(s) or create a competitive event if you are going to use Lesson Three.
- How was the instruction to not force the pieces together a metaphor for teamwork and/or patient care?
- What happens when you force people to work together on a team?
- How would this exercise have been different if you had allowed learners to look at the image of the puzzle?
- In what ways do we attempt to create treatment adherence with our patients?
- How do you respond if another team member is forcing their treatment solution on the patient?
- How do you respond if another team member forces their treatment solution on the team?
- What could the outcomes be?
- Provide an example of when a patient is similar to the neutral side of the puzzle.
TeamSTEPPS domainMutual Support
IPEC CompetencyRR 2
CC 5 & 6
TT 2, 6 & 11
LessonSeeing the Big Picture
Have everyone exchange their puzzle piece with at least one other person. If team members are working with multiple pieces, they can swap individual pieces , or all of them as a group. Turning the image side up, assemble the puzzle as quickly as possible, (timing or creating some other competitive event, if in conjunction with Lesson 2). If multiple puzzles have been employed, instruct learners that puzzles may be different and they may have missing pieces.
- As a team, what strategies were helpful in putting the puzzle(s) together?
- What would the impact have been if the team had seen a picture of the completed puzzle as they attempted to put their puzzle together?
- How is that like/dislike a team with a common goal or vision?
- What is the impact of holding pieces to multiple puzzles?
- How is that like serving on multiple teams at the same time?
- If a patient is similar to solving a puzzle, what would be the first step your team should take?
- Describe the barriers related to knowing what the completed puzzle looks like in a patient's treatment?
- Why is it important for all team members know what the common goal is for each patient?
- What could happen if a team member did not know what the patient goal was?
TeamSTEPPS domainMutual Support
IPEC CompetencyRR 1
CC 1, 4-6
TT 1, 5, 8, 10 & 11
SummarySimple children’s puzzles have a lot to teach us about the diversity among members of teams. Utilize them to help learners grasp abstract concepts related to collaboration.
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