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My First Learning Team Experience

Essay by   •  February 11, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,946 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,472 Views

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My First Learning Team Experience

My involvement in the Learning Team environment at the University of Phoenix has been a great learning experience. When we were assigned teams at the end of the first week, I did not really know what to expect. I have worked on teams numerous times in my career, both in the professional and private sectors. The teams I have worked on have always been to either produce a product or improve a process. Learning has always been a part of these teams, but I have never been on a team whose specific purpose was centered on learning.

The first task my learning team was confronted with was coming up with an effective method of communicating. "High-performing teams have extensive communication mechanisms. They communicate regularly with each other wither in person, via telephone, or through e-mail and keep those unable to attend meetings informed of the group's progress." (Teams in the Workplace, Pg. 317) We decided to use an Instant Messenger chat for its real time communication and message logging ability to allow us to keep those not able to make the chat informed.

Our first official task was to create a team Charter. One of the questions in this charter was to determine if the team would have a leader and if so, the term of that leader. "All groups need leadership. Without leadership, a group may be nothing more than a collection of individuals lacking the coordination and motivation to achieve a common goal." (Leadership in Groups, Pg.173) Instead of having one leader for the entire course, the team decided to rotate leaders at the beginning of every school week. I was selected by my peers to be the team leader during the first assignment. Being the team leader, I was not only responsible for making sure that my part of the project was completed, but also everyone else's. I had to devise a timeline and milestone events that would ensure us successfully completing the task on time. As the leader, I was also responsible for resolving any conflicts that may have arisen during this assignment. I consider myself (and the team) to be lucky in this, as we did not have any conflicts that needed resolving. The team completed the charter on time and received full marks on the project.

I relinquished the team leadership position for the second team assignment. The assignment was to write a paper on Ethics in the Workplace. The team decided who would do what for the assignment and then we hit a wall. The first conflict a team faces can be a very difficult one to get over. Teams in the Storming stage can find it very hard to move forward due to the conflict. A feeling of dread can come over the team, and they may wonder if they will be able complete the task at all. (Teams in the Workplace, Pg. 315) Our conflict was over the introduction to our paper. We needed a strong thesis statement that would define our paper. I thought the current statement was far to negative for the content of the paper. Somehow we needed to put a positive spin on it. Even though this conflict slowed our progress, I believe that this was very constructive for us as a team. The Learning Team Toolkit describes this type of conflict as "...disagreement over members' ideas and group issues." (Conflict and Cohesion in Groups, Pg. 147) The result of this conflict, in my opinion, was a much more balanced paper.

My learning team experience so far has been much more than I ever expected. My teammates are all very intelligent individuals and I believe that I have a tremendous amount to learn from them in the remainder of this class and hopefully, in future classes as well.

References

Teams in the Workplace. (2001). Retrieved May 11, 2006, from University of Phoenix Learning Team Toolkit, Team Basics.

Leadership in Groups. Retrieved May 11, 2006, from University of Phoenix Learning Team Toolkit, Team Learning.

Conflict and Cohesion in Groups. Retrieved May 11, 2006, from University of Phoenix Learning Team Toolkit, Decisions/Conflict Resolution.

There are many different kinds of ways that people and animals learn. People can adjust the way they learn to the different situations in which they are learning and what they have to learn. One form of learning is known as conditioning. Conditioning emphasises the relationship between stimuli and responses. The two types of conditioning found are Classical conditioning and Operant conditioning. Learning may occur in different ways. Psychologists have distinguished between different types of learning, these being Observational Learning and Insight Learning.

Classical conditioning refers to a simple form of learning, which occurs through the repeated association of two or more different stimuli. Learning is only said to have occurred once a particular stimulus always produces a response which it did not previously produce. Classical conditioning involves an unconditioned stimulus and an unconditioned response, as well as a conditioned stimulus and a conditioned response. The unconditioned stimulus is any stimulus, which consistently produces a naturally occurring, automatic response. The unconditioned response is a reflexive and involuntary response, which occurs as a result of the unconditioned stimulus. The conditioned stimulus is the stimulus that is neutral at the beginning of the conditioning process and does not produce the unconditioned response. But through repeated association with the conditioned stimulus, triggers the same response as the unconditioned stimulus. The conditioned response is the learned response that is brought forth by the conditioned stimulus. The conditioned response occurs after the conditioned stimulus has been associated with the unconditioned stimulus.

An example of classical conditioning is when a person walks past a certain house each day and every time is attacked by a large dog. They then associate that house with the dog and avoid walking past there again.

In this example the unconditioned stimulus is the dog, the unconditioned response is fear, the conditioned stimulus is the house, and the conditioned response is avoidance of the house.

Operant conditioning is the learning process in which the likelihood of a particular behavior occurring is determined by the consequences of that behavior. It is based on the assumption that a person or animal will tend to repeat behavior that brings forth a positive consequence such a praise, and tend not to repeat behavior that brings forth negative consequences such as punishment.

And example of operant conditioning is

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