Psychology Professor Dr. Michiko Nohara-LeClair recently awarded all of her students with a COVID-19 Special Teamwork Award.
Every semester, Nohara-LeClair gives out a teamwork award to the most outstanding team in each section of her Basic Research Methods course. An outstanding team is defined as a team that exemplifies great teamwork. This does not necessarily correspond to their grades. For example, a team can win this award by overcoming an exceptional hardship or by starting out on a bad note but figuring out a way to work together. A team can also win this award by performing at the top of the class throughout the semester, being the first to complete projects, or collaborating exceedingly well together.
This semester, Nohara-LeClair felt that it was not enough to only award one Teamwork Award in consideration of all the additional challenges students were faced with while having to work together online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, she decided to give out a COVID-19 Special Teamwork Award to any team that successfully got to the finish line.
The students were assigned to work together as a team to design and implement an online two-group design experiment, analyze the data, and write an APA-style research report. In addition, they were to create narrated PowerPoint slides featuring every member of their team and offer feedback to other teams. Each student was required to show up online for a team interview at a designated time.
Mindful of the fact that many of her students reside in foreign countries and are in different time zones, presenting additional obstacles for students to work together, Nohara-LeClair was overjoyed when she discovered that every student was deserving of the award.
“The best part is that although they all knew about the regular Teamwork Award, they were not aware of the COVID-19 Special Teamwork Award,” said Nohara-LeClair. “The students merely worked hard to continue working together as a team to complete all of the work. They were not motivated because I dangled a reward in front of them.”