Posted: September 21, 2010 in Assignment 1
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I am inclined to agree with most of the suggestion presented in ‘Teamwork’ web page. However, in the setting on this course, some of these points are more feasible than others.

Forming Team – while it is absolutely important to have a compatible team, it is not always possible to do so. Most of the time individuals cannot choose their classmates or their co-workers, so they have to make the best out of a team of unfamiliar individuals. Forming a team should be rephrased to be more as ‘Items to be discussed prior to task delegation’. When teams are assigned, discussions about experience, scheduling, availability, goals, etc. should be had and tasks delegated accordingly.

Phases – I agree with the notion of four phases. Along with the discussions from the forming Team section and learning the experience, the ideas of the project should be explored and each member should be asked to present their ideas. With the idea presentation and team reactions, these four phases will inadvertently present themselves and will be resolved in form of discussions and suggestions.

Roles – I both agree and disagree with role assignment suggested. I agree that when time is of essence and especially in a real world situation everyone should be delegated a task they have the most experience in. In an educational setting, however, I believe task should be delegated in the reverse way. Each individual should receive a task they do not have extensive experience in. This way each member of the team acquires a new set of skill they did not have before and they have their piers with experience to assist them with the process.

Meetings – I agree that everyone should come, but there are many students with conflicting schedules. I myself, for example, might be forced to attend meeting via Skype, just because my schedule if by far more complicated than an average college student as I work full time.  But these are issues different with each group and should be addressed immediately. Other ideas, especially food, are great and they help to make meeting more structured and productive.

Decisions – Everyone must have a say in decision making, and individuals should be willing and able to let go of ideas not supported by the majority, especially those who assume a leader role. Ideally, taking time to make decisions works, assuming there is time.

Records – I agree with it being an important aspect of group work. From experience, however, I have learned that this is a very difficult task to remain dedicated to. Generally, those taking meeting minutes end up being left out of the discussions. Rotating the task is a great idea. Generally, it is most productive, when one person is organizing all of the records. This way they are easily accessible and organized in a consistent manner.

Disputes – resolving disputes may be one of the most challenging tasks. From experience we all have learned that there are people who  try to get a good grade without doing the work.  All of the suggestions presented are good, but difficult to execute (especially the not yelling part).

When to do it – Skills and time availability should be addresses first meeting – no argument. Idea generation/ brainstorming works great in groups, but it can also be done remotely. We are creating our own web pages, where we can set up a discussion board/ blog and post our ideas as well as criticize other ideas continually without taking the time for meetings. In the meeting these ideas can be summarized and the favorite ones can be discussed in greater detail.

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