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Measuring Healthy Group Dynamics

The importance of small group dynamics is hard to overstate. Group functioning directly influences how well students learn the content, what they learn about working with others, and the attitudes they take with them from the experience. Most groups experience problems; while they usually start small, they’ll likely grow larger if left unaddressed. Being new to collaborative work, students don’t always recognize unhealthy group dynamics or know how to respond to them. Fortunately, researchers (O’Neill et al., 2018) have developed a measure that students can use to assess the health of their team. It “defines effective team health in terms of communication, adaptability, relationships and education,” or CARE (O’Neill et al., 2020, p. 1122). The first iteration of the instrument contained 64 items. The goal of this research was to create a shorter version (dubbed Bare CARE) that still produced stable and robust results.

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