Adapted from the University of New South Wales Teaching Gateway.

Developing team skills comes not only from completing team tasks, but also by reflecting on team processes.  This can be done informally or formally (i.e., built into assessment and grading).  It can be done individually or in teams. 

Reflection should be on process as well as products of team work with an eye on applying what they learn to future work.  Below are sample reflective activities to consider.

Reflective Activity


Learning journals

Students keep a learning journal to track development of team skills.  For example, after each task or key stage of a project, they reflect in the journal on the things their team is doing well or not so well and consider what to improve.  Learning journals can help professors monitor team activities and relative contributions of members.


Checklists help students reflect on team preparations and performance of tasks.  Examples address team contributionsperformance in team meetingsperformance in a team presentation, or the process of compiling a group written report.

Peer review

Encouraging students to give each other regular feedback in team meetings is very helpful.  In peer review, students reflect on their own and others’ performance of team tasks. See examples in Assessment.  Reviewing performance of peers (strengths, weaknesses, areas for improvement) builds students’ understanding of the principles of effective teamwork.



Students are asked, once they have reflected on their team’s performance, to share their reflections with the rest of the class, including aspects they found rewarding or challenging and how they can improve as a team next time.


Articulation of skill development not only deepens learning but also prepares students for employment interviews.  Students may be asked by interviewers what is meant by effective team or group skills and should be able to articulate their experiences and strengths.


to feedback

You can ask students to indicate action they have taken in response to feedback given by you or their peers to improve their performance in the team.



Students can submit reports on team processes.  You can ask students to write their report as individuals or as a team (or perhaps a combination of the two). Encourage them to draw on specific incidents and examples and take an analytical approach (rather than an overly descriptive one). Rather than focusing on content, students should consider the team’s methods and processes and assess their effectiveness. They should concentrate on how the team worked as a whole rather than on individual members’ actions



Portfolios can help students keep track of development team and other skills and provide another reflective tool.

Helping student identify how they can improve

The following exercise is designed to help students identify how the team might function more effectively next time.  Students may reflect on the prompts below individually and then discuss as a team or class.

Last time

  • What I liked most about the group was…
  • What I liked least about the group was…
  • The most effective things about the way the teams worked were…
  • The least effective things about the way the teams worked were…
  • The things I did that helped the team most were…
  • The things I did that helped the team least were…

Next time

  • The types of people I’d like to work with are…
  • The roles I’d like to play in a team are…
  • The exercises I’d like the team to go through are…
  • The working methods I’d like to use are…
  • The way I’ like us to run our meetings is…

(Adapted from G. Gibbs (1994), Learning in Teams: A Student Manual, Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Centre for Staff, p. 24, p. 60)