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This week in class posed many challenges that we had to overcome. From the fact that our group was under re-assessment by Peter and the class, to the challenges associated with the simulation and working as a group.

 

Last week, myself and a group of five others were confronted with the challenge of sorting the classes CVs into teams. We thought we did a reasonably good job with the process. We followed what we had learned that week in the readings and made sure that the groups had similar goals, as it would mean they would all be working towards similar things and would be more cohesive as a group (Oakley, Felder, Brent & Elhajj 2004). We also ensured there was diversity in the groups in i.e. there was a mixture of SHV as this means that those who are good with the simulation can help those that aren’t so good.

 

We did however, make an exception to this, and we also made one mistake.

 

The exception to this was that those who did not meet the requirements of the SHV over $25 were put to the side to be sorted though. Peter suggested three potential options for this pile. Firstly, to incorporate them into the main pile, secondly to leave them to the side and do nothing with them (allowing them to sort themselves out into groups), and thirdly to sort them into teams separate from the main group. We as a collective decided not to do any of these and instead decided to sort though the pile to look for evidence on the CV of effort; this included a SHV that nearly reached the $25, or ones that had put in a lot of effort into their CVs. We put these ones into the main pile to be mixed with everyone else. The remaining CVs we put into groups as we saw it as unfair to leave them to sort themselves out and leave them with no group at all, however decided it was not fair to put these people into the other groups as we felt they were not entirely committed to learning the simulation, therefore any benefit from the diversity of SHV (i.e. the good ones teaching these guys) would be lost, and also we felt that these people would be more likely to be hitchhikers (Oakley, Felder, Brent & Elhajj 2004). Overall, although this decision may have upset some people, (and even writing this is likely to upset some people), I still feel as though we did the right thing for everybody. I think that the people who didn’t meet the requirement have an opportunity to prove to the group that allocated the teams that they want to learn, and that they are willing to put the effort in to succeed in this class. I am hopeful that they will see this team allocation as motivation to work harder next time; however I am mindful that it could have the opposite effect on these teams. It will be interesting to see how they go and whether they use it as motivation.

The mistake we made, as many people may assume, was not that we put ourselves in a team. The mistake we made was not following though with the criteria we were using for the rest of the teams. We were going by firstly goals, making sure that everyone in a team had the same goals. We as a team seemed to meet this requirement relatively loosely, some are in it to learn, some are in it to compete and others are in it to get the best goal. I think that the last two are very similar, however the first is a bit different, which seemed to cause one of our team members some discomfort later in the week. The second element we were grouping by was to have a diverse SHV. We most definitely did not achieve this when allocating our group, which later in the week became a problem with the class. Although I’m sure people may be sceptical, but we did not even look at the SHV’s of our members. What happened was that we came across our CVs in the pile and we weren’t sure what to do them, so we removed them from the pile to deal with later. It was then suggested that we form a group ourselves as we seemed to like working together, and we were all relatively similar in the way we were hard workers and were keen to help out in class. Also, we thought we were diverse in the fact that we all had very different ways of thinking, which was evident in the discussions taking place while sorting though the CVS, however, we did not turn out to be diverse in terms of SHV. This was our potential mistake, which lead to a very uncertain week in terms of the fate of our team.

 

In terms of this experience of sorting the teams and the problems that it raised throughout the week, there was a lot to learn from this that I can take into future situations like this.

 

 

References

 

Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teamsJournal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9--34

 

5 Comments

  1. I was really hoping I wasn't going to have to give feedback to one of the members in your group, only due to the fact that there are a ton of other passionate class mates that would have loved to speak on behalf of us all. It is really unfortunate with what happened and slightly upsetting, and I really feel for those that don't benefit at all from this. Good on you guys for having the ability to understand and get the hang of MikesBikes, but what about the other class mates that spent a fair amount of time reading the manuals and practicing with the simulation, yet still were not able to get a reasonable SHV? How do you know that a high SHV = someone who puts in the effort & a low SHV = someone who doesn't bother. This does not prove to be true considering I sat next to a girl in one of the labs who started her MikesBikes simulation at 2pm (2hours before the CV was due) and got a SHV of $52. 

    In week 2s readings - Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams - it states that, “Groups containing all weak students are likely to flounder aimlessly or reinforce one another’s misconceptions, while groups composed entirely of strong students often adopt a divide and conquer policy, parceling out and completing different parts of the assignment individually and putting the products together without discussion" You don't have to have years of University learning to know that by putting a group of low students together will be quite detrimental. From my idea of what a manager should be (considering this is after all a management paper) is someone who has the ability to develop people. Personally, if I was someone with a "high SHV" and had someone with a "low SHV" in my team, I would have no problem at all guiding and ensuring they knew how to improve their performance.

     

    Anyway, I guess myself and the rest of the class could all sit here and pick at you guys, but what good is that going to do? Nothing.

     

    Good luck and all the best to you and your team.   

    1. Hi Davida,

      I appreciate you comments, and completely understand where you are coming from. However, I would just like to say that we are all human and we make mistakes, and as I outlined in my journal, we did make a mistake. In saying this, making mistakes is where the most amount of learning occurs and I most definitely have learned from this situation and will take this learning forward into the future, which after all, is what this course is all about. 

      Putting the situation aside, I would like to know if it were possible for you to provide some feedback on my learning journal in terms of how I can improve them for the future. If you would prefer not to do this one as you didn't want to review a person from my group, them would you be able to review one of my previous ones as I would like to improve my learning journals and your feedback would help in this.

      Cheers,

      Jennifer

       

  2. Probably start by spelling my name properly. 

    In terms of feedback, your writing style was clear and concise, and I was able to follow through with what you were reflecting upon. I believe that future journals will benefit from continuing to do so. What I liked about your journal was the ability you had in weaving theory together with the experiences you had learnt throughout this week. My journals have failed to reach such greater levels, and in doing so, I have learnt that I need to work on that. 

    Continue to develop and form the ability to express your experiences against the weekly readings and i'm sure that when it comes to the summative journal, it will be quite straight forward for you.  


     

    1. Sorry about misspelling your name :/

      Cheers for the feedback, I really appreciate it (smile)

  3. Okay first of all i want to let you know there will be no bias in this feedback, I'm going to give you the same feedback I would with any other student. The fact that your actions may have caused some awkward tensions in the class does not affect how I should give feedback on your journal, so here goes.

    In terms of the journal itself it had a clear and concise structure, you followed Daudelins structure greatly up until the final point which was deciding whether or not to act upon a proposed action. Whilst you mentioned that you had a lot to learn, you didn't go deeper and say what exactly it is you need to learn. For example you could have said "I need to learn how to sort teams out appropriately in the future, also by developing these skills will they will help me..."'

    In terms of quality this journal was a fine read, the sentences and paragraphs flowed from one another excellently. I wish you all the best in your endeavours