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Some Rules for Group Functioning

Group Assignment

During first two weeks individuals may form groups based on interest or friendship. These groups must be either 4 or 5 people in size. Groups smaller than 4 or larger than 5 will not be approved. To notify Prof. Huff that you have formed a group, send him electronic mail formatted as follows:

If the group you send me has lees than 4 or more than 5 people in it, or of some of the members are not currently registered for the course, I will return your mail saying the group is not approved. I may also not approve a group for other reasons. and reserve the right to do so, though I will offer an explanation.

After the volunteer group deadline has passed, I will assign those who are not yet in groups (which will be most folks, I think). I will use the following principles in making my group assignments:

  1. People who are assigned to the same group should live near each other.
  2. Groups will be no more than 5 and no less than 4 in size.
  3. Few groups should be of a single gender.

You should hear of your group assignment by Monday, September 17

Rating performance in the group

At midterm and at the end of the year, group members will fill out a rating sheet about the group performance of each member. The midterm rating sheet must be filled out jointly by the group, and all group members must sign it. The final rating sheet is done individually, and will be computed in each person's project grade.

Some Group Dynamics Advice

Group work can make things easier or harder (or both). To make sure your group functions well, be sure to:

At your first meeting, establish:

For each assignment that is due, make

Do not seek to blame individuals if you are having problems with agreement in a group (whether this is agreement on a topic or approach or agremment on whether a particular member is doing their job). INstead, spend your time asking how the probem can be solved.

Here are a few links with advice about working in groups:

Dealing with Group Problems

I expect these procedures will not need to be used by any group, but they are available just in case there are insurmountable problems.

Groups can fire an individual

Up until the data collection period begins, a group can choose to fire a member. The group's TA must have attended at least one group meeting before this time, and the group must have documentation in terms of notes of specific behavior that is objectionable. The entire group must then meet with Prof. Huff to obtain permission. The member to be fired must be invited to this meeting, and the meeting must be set at a time that the member to be fired agrees they can make. This is one of the few times that Prof. Huff will agree to a meeting during chapel.

Upon firing, the group member must complete an empirical project of their own or make other arrangement with Prof. Huff for credit associated with the empirical project. The person being fired will not have their grade affected by the action. Their grade will be based on the quality of work in whatever replacement arrangement is made for the empirical project.

A group member can transfer to another group

Up until the data collection period begins, a group member may quit one group and join another. They do not need the permission of the members of the group they are leaving, but the group they are joining must vote to include them. This must be done with the approval of Prof. Huff. Approval will deped on the specific circumstances and reasons for the transfer, and on the effect the transfer will have on the ability of the students in each group to do the project.

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