Team up for your different learning experience

Written on May 20, 2013 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in New Experiences

IE Professor Daniel Mayoral introduces different teambuilding exercises

We are aware that this blog is not about the case method, which takes a collaborative approach among peers. It is about “learning and teaching activities beyond traditional case studies and lectures”. However a lot of other active learning methods have a large component of peer learning.
Coming from different cultural backgrounds (more individualistic or more collectivistic cultures) students have to learn how to work together in groups. And it’s not only about the learning process itself: Working in teams is one of the most important skills you need in high efficient, collaborative environments, according to Professor Mayoral. As such, most of the Master programs at IE start with some team building trainings. Professor Daniel Mayoral is involved in several of these experiences and tells us about some dynamics he is using:
“There are different games like “The Babel Tower” where students have to build a tower using materials provided like paper, clips, scissors and adhesive tape in 20 minutes. The team that -after this time- has the highest tower, wins. The idea behind this is to achieve equilibrium between realizing tasks, planning time, organizing and distributing the tasks between the group members.
“Another example could be a more physical approach where students have to create “Human Towers”: I give students 10 minutes and they have to create as many ‘human towers’ as possible. This is a really challenging dynamic for students. Some of the takeaways from this are: to have confidence in each other, to understand other’s interests, to reach agreements, to tell what you expect from others, and to learn how to say sorry.”

Professor Mayoral carried out these group dynamics in classes such as the Master in Global Environmental Change at IE University and as far as we know students loved them…

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