Enhancing the performance of collaborative groups through team skills training

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Prichard, JS, Bizo, LA, & Stratford, RJ 2003, 'Enhancing the performance of collaborative groups through team skills training', Proceedings of British Psychological Society Centenary Annual Conference, Bournemouth, 13-15 March, British Psychological Society, London, UK, vol. 11, no 2.


Objectives: This two phase evaluation investigated whether team-skills training can enhance the effectiveness of collaborative group performance. Design: This study evaluated the implementation of a team-skills training programme on a group based undergraduate transferable-skills course. A between-subjects quasi-experimental design was used to compare the task and learning performance of three consecutive cohorts of students. Method: In phase 1, two successive cohorts of second year psychology undergraduate students were observed across two semesters; one cohort (n = 94) experienced team-skills training and the other cohort (n = 113) did not. Students worked in one group in Semester 1 and were then formed into new groups for Semester 2. Effects of the training were measured in relation to both student group grades and transferable skill self ratings. Results: Results showed significantly higher student group grades (p < 0.01), and individual transferable-skill ratings (p < 0.01) for the trained cohort in Semester 1. However, in Semester 2 the performance ratings had significantly reduced for the trained cohort in comparison to the performance found in Semester 1. To further understand the findings of Semester 2, phase 2 of the study evaluated a third cohort of students (n = 88) where collaborative groups remained intact throughout the academic year. Results showed no attenuation of performance effects in Semester 2 for Cohort 3. Conclusions: Comparison of the results of phase 1 and phase 2 suggest that the performance losses in Semester 2 for Cohort 2 were due to the disruption of the original training groups.