Almost everything we do as adults entails working with others. Working well with others requires good collaboration and teamwork skills, communication skills, cooperation, empathy, and respect for diverse opinions, experiences and cultures. Like mastering any skills, practice, repetition, experience, and reflection are required.
Academic education has traditionally been seen largely as an individual, competitive enterprise, and collaboration is viewed as cheating. Increasingly, the tide is turning to team-based, collaborative learning.
Not all teams are created equal. Rarely do the unique strengths of randomly assigned team members blend optimally to create something greater than the sum of the parts. Moreover, in the education context, all students need to learn how to further develop their strengths and address gaps. How can teachers assign students to teams to create the best possible results?
Throughout my career, I have worked with tests and self-assessments of interests, aptitudes, values, personality, and strengths. If I were an educator guiding middle school, high school, or post-secondary students in team-based learning projects, I would use All Star Teams.
All Star Teams (AST) empowers team members - co-located, hybrid, and virtual - together to:
⭐ Appreciate each other as whole unique individuals
⭐ Harness their imagination and creativity
⭐ Play to their diverse strengths
⭐ Accelerate trust
⭐ Co-create psychological safety
Participants don’t have to learn new concepts or new software. They simply focus on their facilitated team experience using an integrated whiteboard, video, and chat, which everyone knows.
Moreover, participants find it highly engaging and meaningful to use imagination, storytelling, visual expression, and co-creation. (Supported by digital whiteboard functions like stencils, icons, visual aids, etc.).
All Star Teams provides team members with immediate self-evident benefits and long-term benefits. Their whiteboards are helpful for further building on lessons learned and goals identified, primarily when working with a manager or coach.
Individual team members start by completing their iStar, an online strengths-based self-assessment. Everyone receives a personalized Star Card featuring their unique digital badge. This card helps individuals easily picture their primary strengths holistically, including imagination.
During the facilitated online session, team members work with their Star Cards. Through guided exercises, team members better understand each other, their diverse strengths, and how best to play to them.