Working in Groups
Working in groups is an expectation and requirement of this course. Part of the work for your mark in this course will be completed in producing projects in groups. Therefore you should take the challenges and opportunities connected to working in groups seriously. This can be challenging but also one of the most rewarding ways to work on assignments.
I will assign your groups alphabetically. They will be finalized by the first class after the add-drop period and this will be announced in class. Once your group is formed it cannot be changed for any reason. Your groups will have five people. If there is not a number of students in the class that is divisible by five, one or more groups will have four or six. This is not an advantage or a disadvantage.
For group assignments, all members of the group will receive the same mark.
Some ideas about how to work in a group
Working in groups can challenging but is also rewarding and develops different skills than working individually does. It not only will present you with different challenges but also will give you different opportunities for learning. In this class a good amount of your assigned work, done to hand in, and the basis for your final presentation in class will be done in groups. How your group works together and how you assign and divide tasks will not be legislated—this is up to each group of five to organize yourselves. After the add-drop period, groups will not change and will be permanent. You may be working with people who you do not know or with whom you do not agree with about everything. This is one of the challenges. Some of the groups that have done the best work for me are groups who initially thought they could never work together.
What we expect from you is that you will work in your group to foster an inclusive and mutually respectful atmosphere that allows you to talk, think and share together and also to produce the work that is assigned. This may mean assigning different tasks to different people in the group, it may mean shifting and rotating these roles. For example, in a meeting you might decide together that one person takes on the role of the facilitator, one the note-taker, one the presenter and so on.
It is crucial that in practice all students participate. You should show this in your presentations, in a way that you all agree upon. All students should be actively involved in the development of projects/assignments and their presentation/s. All voices should be heard, including those that may have a more difficult time doing so. Differences of experience, opinion and background and others must be respected at all times in group-work.
Because you will be working closely together, you should from the beginning of the semester exchange emails and phone numbers and find a way to be in touch. It is not acceptable to miss or skip group meetings any more than this is true for class, because it puts your groups’ projects at risk.
Any specific concerns about group work should be addressed to Michelle before the end of add-drop period.
PLEASE NOTE: Appended to each group assignment should be a series of short comments (one by each member, 2-3 sentences) that outline each participant’s contribution to the project and signed by each participant.