The Behaviour in Teams (BiT) Project

The BiT project started in October 2015 in the Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield, and is currently based in the University of Sheffield Management School.

The BiT project emerged from the increasing need for universities to change from knowledge-based learning to skills-based learning. In higher education, a high percentage of learning occurs by organising students to work in team assignments. Nevertheless, very few universities provide guidance about teamwork dynamics so that the students can make the most of working in teams. Given that employers are keen to hire graduates who are able to work in teams, these are important skills that students need to develop. Therefore, the BiT project provides interventions that are aimed at improving one of the main aspects of teamwork dynamics: communication skills.

In order to improve communication skills, the BiT team provides a team level intervention for students. This begins with a series of short video modules to explain to students how different verbal behaviours can impact the productivity and satisfaction of teams. The modules also allow students to practise the behaviours themselves. Once the students have gone through these modules as a team, a trained observer then attends the student team meetings and categorises the verbal behaviours of each student using common language behavioural categories (e.g. proposing ideas, disagreeing, giving task information). At the end of each meeting, the observer is then able to provide team members with feedback about the behaviours they used. Feedback enables team members to reflect on their use of different verbal behaviours, so that they can adjust their behaviour to the benefit of the team.


About BiT & Behaviour Analysis

BiT Logo

The original research that led to the BiT Project started with work with BOAC (now British Airways) between 1968 and 1972. Behaviour Analysis (BA) uses content analysis to record different categories of communication behaviour that occur within a group or dyad. BA is a ‘short-cycle’ method, where the data is used as a feedback mechanism to guide the future behaviour of those observed.


Technology

BiT AppWe have developed the BiT app, which runs on iPads, to code behaviours in real-time. Our trained observers use the BiT app to code team meetings. After the meetings, the BiT app is used to create graphs of the teams verbal behaviours, which the observer uses to provide feedback.


People

People

The BiT project is run by a multidisciplinary team with strengths in research, training, teaching, and software development.


Research Projects and Publications

Research and PublicationsWe have carried out several research studies at the University of Sheffield into verbal behaviours during teamwork. We have presented findings from our research at conferences, as well as published in book chapters and journals. A full list is available on the research and publications page.


Collaborations

CollaborationWe are collaborating with different departments at the University of Sheffield to carry out our research into effective teamwork communication skills.  The collaborations page has a full list of our previous and current collaborations.


Contact Us

Contact Us If you have any questions about the BiT project, or are interested in working with us, then please contact us.