Building diverse teams online

Diverse teams are often more productive, creative and desirable to work for. But how to build diverse teams online where the students do not actually meet each other?

Think about diversity from the start

There are several ways of building or supporting the creation of diverse teams in online learning. Identify first the relevant diversity factors for your group and regarding the learning goals. Think about diversity in a broad persepctive, such as cognitive diversity, different skills, knowledge, experiences, various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, language skills, gender, age or field-specific expertise. Get inspired by the HEAD Wheel.

Then, help students to team up with people different from them. For example, have them list and indicate relevant skills, competences, characteristics and experiences on a Padlet wall. Or in any similar forum where students can share their identities, skills and other traits by utilizing different words or visual cues such as colors, flags, pictures. Visual illustrations will make the choosing of diverse team members easy.

Remember to offer a forum for team specific liaising and enough support for diverse teams to succeed.

A grid for choosing diverse team members

Source: Laurea University of Applied Sciences