Question Chi Education

Advantages and disadvantages of team learning.

Advantages and disadvantages of team learning.

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Answer Internal Staff

Team learning focuses on a group working and learning together – it involves interaction and collaboration between peers to allow them not only to get the best out of the intended learning objectives of the session, but to learn from one another and develop communication and teamwork skills which are vital. This kind of learning is usually seen within business settings, where colleagues need to be able to work closely together for the maximum benefit of the company. Team learning is vitally important for many reasons, not least of which that “organizations rely on team learning to solve complex problems, create new knowledge, and to improve the performance of ad-hoc or task specific project teams. Conversely, failures in learning often stifle the ability of organizations to perform” (Kayes, 2006, p.2). As such, managing effective team learning can lead to increased co-operation, strengthened working relationships and more efficient and considerate working practices. However, team learning can fail to account for differences in learning styles and preferences of individual members; what works for one member may not for another, resulting in mixed outcomes in terms of the learning the organisation want to convey. Similarly, it is important to acknowledge that hierarchies can affect team learning in that members may not feel confident expressing their true sentiments if a senior member of the organisation is present, therefore diminishing the value of team interactions. Overall, if managed effectively, team learning is an extremely effective method which can have a variety of benefits to organisations.

References

Kayes, C. (2006). ‘Team Learning in Organizations: A Review and Intergration.’ OLKC 2006 Conference, University of Warwick, Coventry: 20th-22nd March 2006. Available online.