Session 4 - Team Building

@may20-cohort It’s time for our fourth session tomorrow on team building! This week we’ll focus more on the why, who, and what of teams. Next week, we’ll dive into the how with recruiting and managing team members. I’ll see you all at 3:30pm ET on Zoom (meeting password will be sent over direct message as a reminder).

These are the resources for this week’s session:

  1. Handout: Team Building
  2. Slides: Team Building

As always, I look forward to hearing your updates, and spending some time chatting a bit more about your project teams.

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@may20-cohort thanks all for sticking around a few extra minutes at our session yesterday! Since we are focusing on teams this week and next, it’ll be good for you to tell the cohort about your team composition. Are you a group of faculty working together? A mix of support staff and instructors? How have roles been divided amongst your existing group? We’ve looked at some of these questions at our first session, but it’ll be good to revisit in our discussion space and refer to the different approaches that you are all taking.


  1. @zmtownsend had a question about adding resources to the project homepage, and I’ve followed up over Direct Message to resolve this issue.
  2. @wernerwestermannj asked about different ways we can incentive people to continue working on OER projects (besides financial compensation). We had a good discussion about this during our call, but does anyone have anything to add? Especially those who couldn’t attend the session?
  3. @denise.henry & @poritzj described their recent grant selection process and the challenge of not only deciding which projects to fund, but also of informing projects that are not going to be funded. Does anyone have more ideas for either supporting more projects or crafting rejections that don’t dissuade potential OER creators from reapplying for these? Or any more tips on deciding which projects to fund?
  4. @w.j.palmer asked about considerations to keep in mind when putting together a leadership team. We’ll try to dive into this next week!

Chat Transcript and Resources

The chat transcript was a bit quieter this week, but below is a list of all the resources shared.

Lesson Recap

Teams are going to be inevitable, as you’re going to end up working with someone on your project eventually, so we recommend you start thinking about how to cultivate and manage a good team (see a summary of what makes a good team in our slides). Teams can come in all shapes and sizes, and should be composed of people with diverse perspectives, roles, and skill sets (look at who all can be involved in the slides). Teams are beneficial for more than just sharing the workload (see some other reasons in our slides). When you’re setting your team up, keep in mind that roles can be mixed and matched, and that the combination of an administrative team (that focuses on day to day tasks) and an advisory team (that guides high level process) can prove useful (we’ve outlined the tasks of a leadership team in the slides). As a project manager, you want to manage and encourage your team without taking advantage of the passion that volunteers have. Take a look at the strategies we suggest, and remember that a good team needs more than just a taskmaster. Everyone’s well-being is just as important as the project itself and ultimately, having a team that’s happy also makes the process a whole lot more enjoyable. If complex situations arise with team members, refer to documentation you’ve prepared, and be understanding and open to conversation before you make any decisions. Things may occasionally deviate from the plan, but remember that we’re all human. In that spirit, remember to look after yourself too — take breaks as you would on any other project and set the example for how you’d like other team members to participate and contribute.

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