Team Functioning Scale Instructions

Measuring District Team Functioning

The Team Functioning Survey is a 17-item online survey designed to capture overall functioning of a team implementing an improvement process. To enact sustainable improvements, team meetings must be structured, focused, and support meaningful communication and shared decision-making.

The Team Functioning Survey:
  • Evaluates overall functioning of team meetings.
  • Indicates how team members observe team functioning around the subdomains of structure, communication and focus.
  • Is quick and easy to complete online. Results in a high response rate.
  • Supports continual improvement in the quality and functioning of district meetings by identifying key areas for improvement.
  • Appeals to teachers, administrators, other certified staff, and noncertified staff.

To better understand overall team functioning, the Team Functioning Survey provides team members with observable concrete examples of poor team functioning as well as exemplary team functioning. Participants complete a sliding scale (1-5) between the items to relate the observed level of team functioning for each indicator.

Citation: Gaumer Erickson & Noonan (2012). Team Functioning Scale. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Adapted in part from TIPS Fidelity of Implementation Checklist (Newton et al., 2012) and Team/Department Meeting Observation Guide and Checklist (Gunhold, 2009).

Administering the Team Functioning Survey

To administer the Team Functioning Survey, a person from your district must first log in and name the teams that will be completing the survey. Once logged in, go to My Portfolio and click on “Review my District.” The district teams are listed at the top of the page, and here you can add/delete/edit team names.

Once you have the team names entered, please email all members of your implementation teams asking them to complete this short online survey. Survey responses will be automatically graphed; reports available within the My Portfolio tab. All responses are confidential and will be aggregated in reporting.

Below is sample text for the email to be sent to all members of your implementation team. Please contact Dr. Amy Gaumer Erickson ( with questions regarding this survey.

Example E-mail

Click here to open a sample email with the link to the survey.

Interpreting the Team Functioning Survey Results

The Team Functioning Survey Summary Reports provides average team ratings for each item of the survey. Furthermore, items are clustered in subdomains of structure, communication and focus. It is not expected that district teams will have high levels of functioning across all items. Instead, the results should be used to identify strengths and prioritize areas of improvement.

Guided Discussion Questions for Implementation Teams

1. Quickly glance through the data. What are your first impressions?

2. Does the number of survey participants adequately represent our team?

3. Celebrate successes: Which items or areas of team functioning are we doing well? What processes are in place that support these high levels of functioning?

4. Prioritize needs: Which items or areas of team functioning are low and need improvement? Which components of team functioning could be improved over the next two meetings?

5. Next steps: How should the results influence our team meeting structure for the next year? What strategies can we implement to improve our team functioning?