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University of Colorado Boulder

Teamwork Skills: Communicating Effectively in Groups

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera


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Recently revised and updated! Effective teamwork and group communication are essential for your professional and personal success. In this course you will learn to: make better decisions, be more creative and innovative, manage conflict and work with difficult group members, negotiate for preferred outcomes, improve group communication in virtual environments, develop a better overall understanding of human interaction, and work more effectively as a team. Our goal is to help you understand these important dynamics of group communication and learn how to put them into practice to improve your overall teamwork.


  • Rethinking Communication
    • Week 1 is all about communication. But not the common sense or taken-for-granted notions of communication you might expect. Instead, we’re going to rethink communication and challenge some of the conventional wisdom about communication that is common in our society. We’ll compare and contrast different theories or models of communication, and see if we can develop a more sophisticated understanding of communication to understand the complexities of human interaction in today’s groups. We’ll also explore some of the hidden forces of group communication, like context, systems and institutions, and design. These are all things that are “present” in any group situation, influencing how we interact with each other, but easy to miss if we’re not looking. We want to expand our field of vision, so to speak, so we have a fuller understanding of what’s happening in any group situation.
  • Group Development & Decision Making
    • Week 2 focuses on group development and decision making. We’ll look at how groups come together through socialization, how they develop norms, and how roles emerge. And we’ll compare and contrast different models that explain these processes. We’ll examine the various decision making traps that groups can fall into, while also developing better practices for making good group decisions. And we’ll explore how groups can be more creative and innovative in their decision making.
  • Conflict, Difference, & Diversity
    • Week 3 is all about conflict, difference, and diversity. We’ll learn how groups can have a good fight and how you can choose the right words in a dispute…as well as how to negotiate with others when things get difficult. We’ll also explore why difference and diversity are so important for group communication, and how understanding the concept of identity is critical for our involvement in groups. And we’ll pay special attention to communication and gender, one of the most significant aspects of difference and diversity for groups to understand.
  • Group Communication & Technology
    • Week 4 covers group communication and technology…an increasingly prevalent aspect of the modern landscape of group work we must understand. We’ll look at the concept of virtual work and how groups are using technology, as well as various models and theories of media functionality and information processing. We’ll cover several practical and conceptual issues we should always keep in mind when it comes to technology and group communication, and we’ll explore some cutting-edge thinking about technology and group work through the fascinating theory of sociomateriality.

Taught by

Matthew A. Koschmann, PhD


4.5 rating, based on 8 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 3226 ratings

Start your review of Teamwork Skills: Communicating Effectively in Groups

  • Karthi M
    Teamwork is the collaborative effort of a group to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.This concept is seen within the greater framework of a team, which is a group of interdependent individuals who work together towards a common goal. Basic requirements for effective teamwork are an adequate team size. The context is important, and team sizes can vary depending upon the objective. A team must include at least 2 or more members, and most teams range in size from 2 to 100. Sports teams generally have fixed sizes based upon set rules, and work teams may change in size depending upon the phase and complexity of the objective. Teams need to be able to leverage resources
  • Anonymous
    The most boring course I've taken since my university days. The course consists of four modules, and for the first two modules we've been beating about the bush juggling definitions of communication, anchoring, etc. No possibility for practical implementation whatsoever.
  • the transmission vs social construct theories of communication was a real eye opener on what I'm doing wrong in my life.
  • Profile image for Jason Muckley
    Jason Muckley
    I loved this course. The content was very relevant to me as a Project Manager. There were lots of new developments in communication science, including strategies that were pertinent to my job function in the class. The content was very professional and interactive. The different projects and case studies were engaging and interesting.
  • Martijn Mertens
    This was a very nice course! I learned a lot of valuable skills and tricks that I can use later in life.
  • Damla Doğançay
    It was a really good course which I enjoyed. You gonna definitely learn the issue :) There is no readings but there are quizzes and some essays but not panic they are easy and graded with peer review :)
  • Sabrina M
    This course is so very informative and the instructor explains every concept thoroughly. It will be helpful for anyone who want to understand the hidden forces of social interactions and develop people's skills.
  • Anonymous
    The course is so helpful for me , finished all of it and all quizes but can't submit the assignments because of my poor English and will appreciate if there is anyone can help me

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