Internal Code: 1HJFD
When working on a group assignment, individuals may differ in what they believe are effective ways to organize and they may differ in the assessment grade outcome they wish to achieve. Problems can arise when the implicit expectations of each individual member conflict, or even contradict each other. To prevent such conflicts, it is helpful to establish explicit ground rules that specify how the group is expected to operate. Working these out early on will help avoid conflicts later on.
What is the purpose of establishing ground rules?
• To encourage group members to explicitly articulate their expectations of how the group is to operate
• To help your group establish some ground rules and goals (norms) What should you have achieved after establishing ground rules?
• You will have shared your expectations with each other.
• You won’t have to be a “mind reader”. You will know what your fellow members think.
• You will have agreed on some basic rules and goals.
How can this information help your group function more effectively.
• Your ground rules can be used as a guide for your group.
• If problems arise, go back to your ground rules and see what was written (i.e., are they working?) Some examples of ground rules are:
• Decisions should be made democratically. A vote is to be held if a clear consensus is not obvious. (The nominal group technique is another method you may wish to use – see below.)
• Racist and sexist remarks are not tolerated.
• Dominating and aggressive behaviour is not acceptable.
• All members are required to attend all meetings. Exceptions can be made for unavoidable circumstances. Where possible, this should be negotiated with the team before the meeting.
• 5 minutes after the agreed start time the meeting will start. All team members are expected to be present by then.
• Tasks are to be shared between team members in an equitable manner.
• Tasks are to be completed by the agreed deadlines. Where a team member predicts a deadline may not be met, the member is expected to seek help from other team members before the deadline to attempt to avoid the delay.
• Contributions are to be encouraged from all team members. This includes ideas for both discussion and decisions. Team members are to accept the decisions of the team.
As a group, create a ground rules charter that defines the expected behaviour of the team. You are encouraged to include any additional rules that will assist your group to work effectively. Your ground rules charter should be documented in writing.
Our goals: (required)
a) What is our team trying to accomplish? Our ground rules: (required)
b) Other than in class, when will we attempt to meet? (E.g., what time, how often?)
c) Where will our meetings take place? (E.g., physical location or virtual team?)
d) When is it OK to miss a meeting?
e) How do we deal with members who miss a meeting?
f) What team roles are required in your team, and who will act in those roles? (E.g., rotating or fixed leader, secretary/note-taker, progress chaser, time-keeper, progress consultant etc.)
g) How do we deal with members who don’t participate enough, participate too much or distract the
group from its task?
h) How are we going to make decisions? (E.g., Nominal technique, other?)
i) What will we do if a group member’s work doesn’t meet our standards?
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