While most, if not all, students will have participated in a team project in another class, few will report that those experiences were positive. However, most will report they managed to get the job done. The goal of this activity is to tease out the contradiction of not liking the experience but still managing to get the job done. In this activity, instructors should ask several students to offer their worst collaborative experience. Then, as a class, discuss what factors led to problems within the group and with the experience as a whole.
This activity presents the perfect opportunity to discuss expectations of the large team project. Students should be told that there are levels of collaborative success and that the goal for this activity is twofold: 1) to produce a professional quality final deliverable and 2) to consciously and actively work on the collaborative process. For example, if one or two students do the whole project or if the whole experience makes the final few weeks of class miserable, then even if the project is turned in, the collaboration was not successful.
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