Team building, communication and problem solving exercises

These exercises aim to promote cohesion, cooperation and trust through group participation in challenging tasks and/or problem situations. Some of the activities can be made specific for the Unit of Study and some can be adapted for online learning.

Activity Description
Tower building In groups, students build a tower out of straws.
Brainstorming closure Individuals brainstorm a question, then join a small group and discuss. Groups report back as teacher lists points on board (get a list of 10-15). Ask groups to identify the major themes or points (Williams, 1993: 12).
Report Groups produce a single page report, article or web page that portrays their group's values and visions (Williams, 1993: 34).
Team identity Groups generate a team list, team name, team logo/symbol and team motto (Williams, 1993: 175-194).
Expectation management Four groups are posed four questions about working in groups (Snow, 1997: 87).
Egg drop In small groups students design a device to drop an egg safely into its nest (Snow, 1997: 185)
Puzzle place Students cooperate in teams in order to solve a puzzle (Snow, 1997: 189).
Suitable methods and activities Examples of a variety of student-centred learning and teaching activities in the classroom and on line.
Department XYZ Form groups of four to five and give each group a card with a three to four letter acronym printed on it. Instruct the group that the acronym is for their team, for a new department in the organisation. Ask them to expand the acronym and develop a vision for their new department (Scannell & Newstrom, 1983: 297).
Wish list Each group is allocated a large sum of money (e.g. $250 000) from their manager. Each individual develops a wish list, then reports back to the group. The group discusses the ideas and then develops a team wish list. Discuss what happened when individuals came together. What problems emerged? How did you deal with them? How are you going to convince the boss of your group's needs (over the other groups')? If time allows, develop a proposal (Scannell & Newstrom, 1983: 289).