The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 24, 2000 - 3
MLI fosters teamwork
Daily Staff Reporter
According to a study conducted by the
Office of Career Planning and Placement
with employment recruiters, the chief
quality desired in prospective employees
is the ability to work on a team effective-
In response to these findings, a
project launched by Michigan
Leadership Initiatives, a division of
Student Affairs at the University, is
seeking to improve the quality of
teamwork education in classes.
The project began in 1996, following
a 1995 report on a task force conducted
across the University on team building
skills which indicated that students were
not receiving proper instruction on team-
The study was replicated by dif-
ferent departments on campus, the
National Advisory Board, and the
Industrial and Operations
Engineering Department and the con-
clusions were the same - all fresh-
men students at the University need
to be proficient in working in teams.
Since then, several teams under MLI
have been working to develop a method
to teach teambuilding skills in classes.
By October 1998, a model for incorpo-
rating team building skills was intro-
duced into the engineering curriculum.
Soon after, Engineering 100 became the
first freshman class to teach teamwork
skills using the coursepack of materials
developed by the MLI teams.
This past year, the project materials
were used in Engineering 100 classes,
and some sections of Math 115, but
the project received little exposure in
other academic areas and the materi-
als were not accessed as the project
leaders had expected.
To remedy this problem, MLI con-
ducted research in 1999 in student focus
groups with students who had used the
teamwork materials in their classes.
Based on student feedback about the pro-
gram, MLI has been working to revise
Students in the focus groups said they
enjoyed working in groups when the type
of assignment required a group to get
results, such as in foreign language and
writing. But students were frustrated by
working in groups when the assignment
did not require a group to complete the
project, like math.
"Professors often assign things that
don't require group work," a focus group
student, who wished to remain anony-
mous, remarked. "It's frustrating because
it doesn't seem like you are doing group
work for a real reason."
The summer 2000 group named itself
Teamwork Education at Michigan and is
composed of a group of students, faculty
and staff from different schools and
departments at the University.
T.E.A.M. has been collaborating
twice a week over the summer to
revise the materials from last year.
The coursepack of materials has been
reworked several times by MLI teams
and this summer it is in its fourth
revision. To supplement the coursepa-
ek, T.E.A.M is redesigning a Website
to reinforce teamwork learning.
Katie Foley, a student member of
T.E.A.M. for the past two summers, said
the project was significant because it fos-
ters leadership abilities.
"The involvement in leadership in
things outside the classroom is one of a
college student's most valuable learning
experiences, and if we can bring that to
the classroom in small ways, our time at
U of M will only improve," Foley said.
"This year is especially important
for the project because we will be
testing out new materials in courses,"
she added. "If they work, we can
hopefully move forward and incorpo-
rate these things into many more
classes and possibly other schools.
In the fall, T.EA.M. plans to continue
using their materials in Engineering 100
classes, and to expand into such areas as
nursing and psychology. But, the project
will be directing their efforts away from
math classes. T.E.A.M. will also be work-
ing with target professors to assess how
effective teamwork instruction is in sev-
eral academic areas.
Joanne Alnajjar, a student member of
TE.A.M., outlined the goals for
"Hopefully, students will embrace
teamwork skills and will apply those
skills to their extracurricular and employ-
ment experiences," Alnajjar said.
A view of the fair from Burton Tower. An estimated 500,000 people flocked to Ann
Arbor this week to purchase and view the works of art filling the streets.
7air spans 26 blocks
Continued from Page 1
Along with the large number of visi-
tors to Ann Arbor comes a substantial
amount of extra revenue for local busi-
esses. Best said the fair has an esti-
ted Sl I million direct impact on the
city, including higher numbers in
restaurant sales, hotel guests and car
The Ann Arbor Art Fair, which is
commonly referred to as one of the best
in the country, boasts over 1,100 artists
from all over the country. Some artists
traveled all the way from Texas and
California to display and sell their
"I've heard great things from the
artists," Best said. "Some are happy that
the consumer here seems more educat--
ed and has a greater interest in talking
with the artists about their work."
Art vendor Lynn Creighton spent
four days driving from California in
order to be a part of the Art fair.
Although this is her first appearance
in Ann Arbor's fair, she said she would
gladly come back if she were invited.
"1'm here to have the interaction and
1rease the selling of my work,",
Specializing in bronze feminine
sculptures, Creighton said her work is
special because it has a message.
"The work has something to say -
women can celebrate who they truly
are," Creighton said.
"Women are too complacent. They
h. aeve lost contact with the power of,
teir own sexuality; they need to own
and explore their energy and speak
the truth that they hold inside of"
Manv of the artists in Ann Arbor
attach special meaning to their work.
Steve Howell has been traveling from
Gainesville, Florida for the Art Fair reg-
ularly since 1985.
"To sell, I do ceramics," Howell said.
"I also paint, but I don't want to sell
those. I don't want that work to become
While many people come to Ann
Arbor to purchase arts and crafts for
their own personal use, others find it a
good opportunity to see a wide variety
of artistic works.
Jason Allen, a senior in the School of
Art and Design has been coming to the
Art Fair for five years.
"I like to look at others' techniques;'
Allen said. "It's fun to see what people
do with their talents and great to see
people making a living doing the things
Other students at the University find
the extra congestion the fair brings to
be a nuisance.
"I enjoy it to go look around, but it's
a pain if you're trying to get some-
where" LSA senior Brandon Silsester
Patrick Williams, an SNREjunior, is
also bothered by the crowd.
"It's a great annoyance when
you're not there for the Art Fair,"
Williams said. "It took me 30 min-
utes to go a distance that normally
Crowds and congestion aside, most
people still enjoy the excitement and
interestrrg crowd that the Ann Arbor
Art Fair brings about.
Theresa Pappas, a junior in the
School of Art and Design, sees the Art
Fair as being beneficial to nearly every
part of the Ann Arbor community.
I bet the squirrels love it," Pappas
said. "They probably get fed really well
durin the fair.
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