This is a great article on using student teams in the classroom. Drs. Barbara Oakley (Oakland University), Richard Felder (North Carolina State University), Rebecca Brent (Education Designs, Inc.) and Imad Elhajj (Oakland University) share tips on how to make the team process more effective. One suggestion I'm going to try myself is:
After 4-6 weeks into the semester (and several assignments), each team member must sign an individual request to stay together as a team (the authors say most students do). However, those electing not to are experiencing a dysfunctional team and are then put into different teams. This accountability means the students are more likely to do their share in the new teams.
There are lots of tips also on how to deal with problem team members and even a handout you could give the students with advice on what they should do to avoid the free rider student.
OK, this is just weird...if I type in Growltiger and Tampa into the Google search engine, my cat has several hits. He's pushing for his own webpage but in the meantime, you can see himat the Tampabay.com site. Here's another photo here.
A friend of mine, Dr. Joe Hoyle (University of Richmond) has created a blogabout the teaching of a class this semester. He starts out with some advice on how to create a good first impression with your students. As he notes, "It is about teaching first and about teaching Financial Accounting second."
Joe is an excellent teacher whom I've mentioned before on this blog so he's sure to have lots of good tips for all of us to "borrow."