I am a naturally shy person, but when an assignment requires teamwork, I attempt to step up and provide a significant contribution to group projects. I don’t always take a leadership position, but I never sit back and let others do the work for me either.
(Click on the picture below to view the artifact.)
For this assignment, our group of seven was tasked with the creation of a zine (self published magazine). As far as content goes, there were some requirements such as student work being featured and certain broad topics to be covered for editorials, but the design and specifics of the zine were left up to us to create. During the first group meeting, I had suggested that we each pick a portion of the zine to work on. I had figured that if we each had individual tasks, it would make it easier on each individual to work on the project on their own time and put less pressure on us to find a time to meet. I had also thought that this would ensure that everyone had an equal opportunity to contribute to the project so that all the responsibility wouldn’t fall on one person as group work tends to do. When someone had
suggested to set a deadline for our work to be completed so that our editor could put it all together, I suggested a date a couple of weeks before the assignment due date.
I took on the task of editing the student work portion of the zine. I was in charge of collecting work and a picture from each student in the class and putting the student section together. This required me to send out emails asking for work and photos as wells as gentle reminders when the work or photos weren’t submitted by my preliminary deadlines. My work had been completed and submitted to the editor well before the deadline. Because I had finished early, I was also able to help her merge documents and reformat some of her photos for the editorials.
However, the project was not all smooth-sailing. Though we each had tasks to complete, there were three students who didn’t complete their portions of the assignment. When they initially didn’t turn in their in work by our first deadline, we tried to figure out solution to their problems, which prevented them from doing the work (using a school printer, finding a different movie to review, etc.). The week before the assignment’s deadline, the editor and I made a point to ask those who hadn’t yet contributed about how their work was going, but it still hadn’t been completed. At that point, the editor and I worked to redisitribute tasks to the group members who volunteered to take on extra work. We gave them ideas about what their articles should cover and general themes to write about, but allowed them to choose the specifics themselves. In hindsight, while being able to work on our respective parts on our own time was helpful to our individual schedules, setting a time or day to work all together, even once, may have helped to make sure each person contributed to the project.
The overall project ended up doing well, but if it were possible to do it over again, and should I get a similar teamwork opportunity, I would try to be a more active leader to ensure that everyone does their part. This active leader role might include creating a master schedule of everyone's availabilty to create at least two small, if not whole, groups meetings to ensure that everyone has some opportunity to work on the project. It may also include taking a new approach to deadlines; rather than having a singular deadline for everyone in the group, it might be better to allow us each to create our own, reasonable deadlines to give each each member some control over the project. I work well on my own, but I also realize now that teamwork is important to success, particularly in cases where working in a group is essential to the assignment.
Based off the rubric, I would give myself a score of 3 for “Contributes to Team Meetings” for times in which I offered ideas that built off the ideas of others, such as the date for our own group deadline. For similar reasons, I would also give myself a 3 for “Facilitates the Contribution of Team Members.” In the future, I might be able to earn a 4 in this category by making the effort to invite the quieter group members to participate, even if only by asking the question, "What do you think?" That question might give someone who normally doesn't voice opinions the chance to offer input. For the “Individual Contributions” category, I would give myself a 3 for having thoroughly completed my portion of the assignment by the deadline, advancing the group project as a whole. I would give myself the score of 3 for the “Fosters Constructive Team Climate” category. I was respectful to team members, kept a positive attitude about the work and team efforts, and provided assistance to others as often as I could, but I didn't necessarily motivate the group members by "expressing confidence" in the importance of the assignment or the groups ability to finish the work. I would also give myself a score of 3 for “Responds to Conflict.” While I stayed engaged with the conflict that went on in the group when assignments weren’t being completed, I never directly addressed it or attempted to resolve it myself.