How to share the leadership competence among the team members in active learning scenarios: Before, during and after COVID-19 pandemic

Ángel Fidalgo-Blanco, María Luisa Sein-Echaluce, Francisco José García-Peñalvo, Ana María Balbín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teamwork is one of the most demanded generic competencies by international organizations, and higher education institutions train and assess that competence to prepare students for working life. Leadership is a crucial part of teamwork development, and previous research has shown that shared leadership tasks between team members present more advantages than the traditional concept of a formal leader. Shared leadership seems to be the best option in the academic context due to the university students’ characteristics. This paper aims to prove that students can identify, distinguish and exercise shared leadership actions based on the needs that arise during the development of teamwork and that derive from the teamwork method applied rather than by the training modality that is followed (face-to-face – online). The achievement of the aim has been possible through a qualitative study of the teamwork development of 40 teams of new university entrance (237 students) with the Comprehensive Teamwork Competency Formation Model. The research has been carried out during three consecutive academic courses, with different training modalities for each course, forced by the COVID-19 pandemic (face-to-face for the pre-COVID-19 course, online for the COVID-19 course and face-to-face during the post-COVID-19 course). The shared leadership tasks and responsibilities, defined by students, were categorized in the same way independently of the training modality, which validates the proposed ontology. Also, the three academic courses studied the evolution of the primary shared leadership responsibilities by category. Besides, it is concluded that the primary responsibilities for each category remained unchanged during the three academic years but that some other categories were affected to some extent by the exceptionality caused by COVID-19. The ontology validated here constitutes a recommendation for future teams working with an evidence-based methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18996
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Shared leadership
  • Teamwork competence
  • Training evidence
  • Training modalities
  • University students


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