Collaborative Learning Community (CLC)
Group work can seem like a daunting task, particularly in an asynchronous environment in which communication occurs primarily online or, at a distance. Even if you are enrolled in a course that meets weekly, conflicting schedules can make it difficult to arrange outside meetings with your group members. However, with proper planning and clear communications, teams can work effectively and efficiently with little or no face-to-face contact.
Achieving good outcomes requires that individuals with different strengths, weaknesses, and perspectives come together to arrive at consensus. Several tools have been created to help your group get started, get organized, and stay on task. With these tools and tips, you will find that working as a team of educated professionals is not only more efficient but more rewarding as well. This professional collaboration is after all, the nature of nursing. Nurses work with others to help others. Working in teams produces the best outcome for patients and the nursing profession.
The first step in working effectively as a team is to arrive at consensus. Before the real work begins, the entire group must agree on fundamental aspects of the work to be done. Together, the group must decide:
What the outcome or final product should look like?
What the objective is and what method should be used to achieve it?
Who should be responsible for doing what tasks, given their experience and talents?
What approach should be used when attempting to solve a problem or conflict within the group?
Collectively, this process is called “group think.” It is a way of approaching a task, taking into consideration the unique needs of each group member and their contributions to the group work. Group think involves challenging one another to think critically, to be accountable to one’s own opinions and responsibilities, and to be actively engaged in professional dialog.