(423c) Using Board Games to Build Teamwork Skills

Hadley, K., South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Teamwork development is a difficult and, oftentimes, resource intensive process.  We have developed a short workshop to present to early year students to initiate the growth of their teamwork skills over the course of their academic career. 

The workshop centers around playing a commercial board game, Pandemic, where students work as a team to play against the game versus playing against each other.  Through proper alignment of game features with learning objectives and content, the workshop utilizes experiential learning to develop key teamwork skills including goal setting, task planning, intellectual diversity, equal contribution, team cohesiveness, and team communication skills.

In addition to summarizing the mechanics of the teamwork development workshop, we will present results supporting its impact on teamwork development as assessed through both quantitative and qualitative measures.  Data has been collected from different disciplines across our campus suggesting the activity is effective independent of environment or student makeup. 

Finally, we will offer suggestions of how to implement the activity in other environments for easy adoption.