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March 11, 2008


Georgy Holden

I like the idea of building on the multi-disciplinary nature of our students. We do try to do this in T307 and I think that we are successful to a certain extent.. students certainly assist one another and we do have a few group projects. Learning to work as a group is a skill in itself and has some challenges when being taught at a distance, and I would think at least 80% of our students would find it threatening. The reasons for this are: Concern about not having control over individual marks, time pressures which lead to a preference to do things quickly without relying on other's input; worry about group dynamics.
I think that there are ways to address these. On T307 65% of the mark a group member receives is based on their individual contribution.. so far no-one has complained that this is unfair.
The time pressures (and maybe even the concerns re dynamics) might be relieved if the project was not assessed by output but by some other measure, eg reflection on the learning from a group experience. Feel like I need to talk about this rather than write it.

Team U101

Teamwork is a tough one. I know there's a Computing course on teamwork which is compulsory for a number of computing degrees, and is deeply unpopular. I think Georgy is right, we need to find a balance between rewarding the individual, and rewarding the team. I think we also need to find ways of effectively building teams (see earlier post about Myers-Briggs personality testing) as that is, arguably, also a skill that any good Design Thinker should have. Clearly there is a lot to be gained from being in a distributed team, but also many dangers.

Nigel Cross

Remember that this is only First Level - students need to get introduced to design thinking: teamwork is important but maybe later in their studies? We could at least include sharing of stuff between students, with peer comments between them, even if they don't really work together collaboratively.
Can't find 'earlier post about Myers-Briggs', but Larry et al at Stanford have done good research on forming teams based on personality type assessments.

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