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The formation of teams this week was more challenging then I originally expected, I went in with the mindset that if you did not get a SHV of $25 then you would not be placed in a team, perhaps it was because I had the security of already achieving this task so for me I would have been placed in team regardless. I soon came to realise that it was not that simple and reading through peoples CVs made me realise that for a variety of reasons many people were not able to get their score above $25. This left me and the team which helped me form the groups with the dilemma with what to do with their group which we were originally told would be a minority. Having to decide between ability and callousness was hard when you only have a couple of pages to work with. Our options left us with either, don’t place them in a group, hide them amongst the rest of the more successful players or place them in a group together. The decision we made were mostly guided by the reading. 

“Turning student groups into effective teams.” Through this I hope to appreciate the importance of diversity and goal alignment. “Simply putting students in groups to work on assignments is not a sufficient condition for achieving,” (Oakely et.al., 2004)  but why have group formation thus far through university been adirect contradiction so far, business 101, 102, psych labs, almosy every subject has had some sort of team and all have been mostly successful. Does this mean if we have been placed properly we may have had higher success rates? I guess time wil yell through this semester.

Winning vs learning vs grades vs fun loving vs conflict free. We do not all have the same goals but to what extent do we really believe in the goals we want to achieve. When I enrolled in university, the idea was to continue on with my learning, having fun was a bonus and conflict free was obvious, goals which not only align with university but with the majority of my life. So why do I have this sudden need to win, My reflection this week is based on the highly competitive team I have been placed in. I think my reasoning being for choosing such a competitive team is likely to get a better mark similarly a grades orientated team would want to win and I find myself in a position which does not meet my original expectation and values of university which takes me back to Edgar Schein’s (1985) Iceburg model. Do I actually subconsciously believe in my teams’ goals and the need to win or is it a façade to fit in? Does this mean I am part of another group or will we be an effective team?

Schein, E. H. (1985). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

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

2 Comments

  1. This is a really good learning journal, definitely the best one I have read yet. Unlike many others, you have seemlessly woven the readings into your paragraphs and then linked these with your own life. I like how you have both used the readings to relate to your experience of choosing teams this week and also things that you have experienced in the past. To be honest i really cant see anything you have done wrong in this journal and i will hope to be writing one similar to this style next week. Good work (smile) 

  2. A nicely written reflection for the week! Good to see that you have been able to bring in experiences from other past papers and apply them in this situation. Perhaps you could go a bit more in-depth with your own history with teamwork both at university and outside of university however. It is good that you have been able to link your past experiences to theories but this could be expanded on and more critically analysed in relation to the theories that you have used and others from last weeks readings. 

    The final paragraph links the theories together rather nicely and it is good to see you bring in reference to the iceberg model. Perhaps you could have gone more in depth here too so as to not finish the reflection with a rhetorical question and engage with other readings from the week which discuss some of what you were looking at. However I do agree with you and it is very hard to see how the concepts of team inclusion and group alignment will actually play out for the semester, and it will probably be much easier in a couple of weeks to discuss the teamwork process when the assignment is a bit more underway!
    Really good reflection overall though, must say that I found myself agreeing with what a lot of what you said and that I felt the same way about many of the topics that you discussed!