The first meeting of the Informed Consent/Study Team was a brainstorming session about what to select as the focus for a formal study of the group dynamics that have occurred among class members (students, teacher, and visitors) over the course of this semester. Steph has already been collecting data (via the peer evaluation rating forms) to test an hypothesis about the stages of group development, but that information is insufficient by itself.

We agreed that it is time (now) to pose a study question. If we could wind back the clock, what would be interesting to have paid close attention to from the beginning?

Ideas (in no order, roughly in the sequence in which they came up):

  • Having no instructions compared with lots of instructions and how this ties to leadership, for instance, the progress of the group on a given day. (Example: “today given a task and a standard, which increased the rate of success on this day in comparison with other days.”)
  • The whole underlying thing of the group dynamic – come to work with Steph – who’s writing on the board…
  • Use of Johari Window, Peer Evaluations
  • The variation of feedback over time…
  • A group of strangers working together…how we view each other over time – perhaps shown in the quality of what people write (as feedback) over time…what they write…how they view their peers.
  • Strangers: only a few knew each other prior to this class, now friends and know many
  • How do you get together 30 kids….the wiki is an arbitrary task..
  • The success rate of fishbowls: “I really like them!” said one team member. They have
  • Flexible content (how this goes down)
  • Want to accomplish
  • A lot of control
  • positive
  • Just arguing with each other – no one wanted to
  • Avoid hurting people’s feelings “weak” = negative
  • Getting into it…..what do…..problem of agreeing – then uphill since
  • Most people hate group work
  • We do the group work in class
  • Homework done at home, no dependence
  • There are choices, people feel bad about not pulling their own weight
  • Are the peer evals biased? Towards the beginning – who chosen to rate? Now friends with them….