How to Work in Interdisciplinary Team? Exchange of Experience between LvBS and Business Academy Aarhus in Denmark
The team of the UCU’s Lviv Business School visited the Business Academy Aarhus in Denmark to have an exchange of experience within the framework of the Ukrainian-Norwegian project aimed at running the interdisciplinary course “Experts in Teamwork” in Ukraine.
LvivBusinessSchool was represented in Aarhus by Academic Director Yaryna Boychuk, Manager of MA in HR&OD Iryna Lepska, and course lecturers Natalka Shpot and Maksym Koliada.
Experts in Teamwork (EiT) is a practical course aimed at developing skills in interdisciplinary teamwork and innovation. It was developed by the NorwegianUniversity of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim 10 years ago and is now disseminated to other Nordic universities. This year the course has made it to Ukraine within an international innovative education project implemented by the UCU’s Lviv Business School in partnership with the Norwegian University NTNU and Innoco with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The course was adapted to the current challenges for students and realities in Ukraine.
Here’s how Ira Lepska, Program Manager of MA in HR&OD, describes the differences in the way this course is implemented in Ukraine and Denmark, “EiT in Ukraine lasts for about a week and is focused on both project work and reflections on team cooperation. Our colleagues from the Business Academy Aarhus in Denmark managed to shorten it to 3 days packed with theory and practice. Even though it is an elective course for Danish students, it enjoys immense popularity – about 400 students signed up. In general, the course is very dynamic and well structured. It can be very valuable for Ukrainian professionals as it lays great emphasis on reflections. The ability to reflect increases students’ professional and personal effectiveness as you can grow only by reflecting on your past experiences.”
Although EiT was introduced in the Business Academy Aarhus as an elective, it is gaining popularity among students year by year, which testifies to the need for interdisciplinary teamwork skills in the process of problem solving and project work.
“The experience we gained from the cooperation with our Danish colleagues made us realize the need for a more flexible approach to implementing this course at LvBS and UCU. For example, as early as in December, we will run a three-day EiT for participants of MS in Innovations and Entrepreneurship. It was also interesting to see Danish students develop solutions/ ideas for small and medium businesses in Denmark as part of this course (rather than work out solutions to social issues). I must admit that they are very good at it,” recounts Yaryna Boychuk, Academic Director of LvBS.
Nataliya Shpot, LvBS lecturer and professional coach, shared her impressions of the visit to the Business Academy Aarhus, “From the outside, it looked like a swarm of bees focused on the task at hand. About 400 students did the course, and these young people were very conscious and focused in their teamwork and communication. The role of supervisors and learning assistants was to guide and facilitate. I think a number of factors contributed to the success of the course: its clear-cut structure, well-defined objectives, tight schedule for teams, support from facilitators, dialogue with business, and cultural characteristics – a combination of individualism and tolerance. The key takeaway for me from the visit to the Business Academy Aarhus is that we can define the structure, scope, and duration of the course based on the goals set and the specific target audience. The success of the course is about the right balance between its main elements – goal, process and dialogue.”
EiT relies on experience-based learning. This means that students develop cooperative skills by reflecting on, and learning from, their cooperation together. Reflections are based on specific events and are stimulated by facilitation, writing reflections, cooperation exercises, and feedback to each other, which allows students to learn something new about themselves and others.
It is noteworthy that as part of its cooperation with the Norwegian partners, Lviv Business School has already run Experts in Teamwork for participants of MS in Innovations and Entrepreneurship, students of the Ukrainian Catholic University, participants of the project “Innovation across Borders”, and young entrepreneurs who took part in LvBS Summer School.