Melissa Schuessler, Senior Teaching Fellow, shares how Belbin adds to the student experience and makes life easier for academics.

“We use Belbin in the Marketing Department within the Business School across our four Postgraduate Marketing qualifications. Approximately 800 Postgraduate students will make use of Belbin each year.

Each student completes their own Belbin Self Perception Inventory as part of their two week induction. Our courses all require students to work in groups and Belbin is a reliable and easily administered tool that helps us – and our students – work in diverse teams where everyone can make a valuable contribution.

In the first semester, we spend two weeks discussing theories of group work. As part of this, students are put into teams. They share and discuss their Belbin Reports. They are a perfect way for students to introduce themselves and get to know each other without revealing anything of a personal nature. We use Belbin exclusively to form teams and facilitate their development.

In the second semester, students can choose their own teams for projects – we encourage them to use their Belbin Reports to form balanced teams.

Students appreciate having the Reports as a tool to facilitate what could otherwise be a tricky conversation.

Academics also benefit from students using their Belbin Reports. When teams have problems we use them to mediate on the issues. We use the Reports to resolve conflict and make the experience an additional teaching opportunity. This concrete contribution helps the conversations enormously. Academics also appreciate Belbin because it is easy to administer. International students can complete their own Report in their first language and receive the output in both languages so that they can use them both for their learning and development.

Belbin works for Leeds University Business School because it supports groups at the very early stages of formation – it is an excellent way for students to introduce themselves without being overly personal. Belbin also serves to support conflict resolution and facilitates students exploring how different Team Roles work together.”

Melissa Schuessler
Senior Teaching Fellow
Leeds University Business School

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Related reading:

Belbin's work with Higher EducationBelbin has been used in a university setting for over 30 years, and enables lecturers to encourage team working and self-reflection; aid work placement; give careers advice and guidance and form study groups and teams.
Belbin's work with the University of Edinburgh:The University of Edinburgh uses Belbin to increase student self awareness, support academic performance and increase students’ global employability.
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