From: "Gentry, Angella B. (UMC-Student)" 
To: "Glaser, Rainer E." 
Subject: RE: Dynamics Reports
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 23:18:33 -0600

                                               Group 25, Katie et al.
                                                Katie Andrews
                                                Angella Gentry
                                                Lesley Roberson
                                                Hillary Willard

     Our group already all knew each other before this class either
through greek organizations, dorm floors or hometowns. This made it very
easy to get along and work together. None of the original five of us had
a class after Chem 210 so we often met then to discuss class material.
We did not have a set meeting time but instead planned our meetings week
to week depending on how busy we were and how close it was to the
upcoming exam. This made it flexible enough for all of us to stay
committed to the group meetings and helped by increasing or decreasing
the time we spent each week according to our need to study and the time
we had available.
     We usually met at Memorial Union because it is a good study
environment but still allows for group discussion. We did different
types of work depending on what anyone in the group was having trouble
with or what we knew was being emphasized for the next exam. We usually
tried to agree on a certain set of problems, online exercises or news
items to complete by the next meeting and then reviewed those. The most
helpful part of this method was while one member may not understand a
certain problem, another would and amongst the five of us, we were
usually able to work out any confusions.  We also usually met the week
of a test in the evenings to study together. This included reviewing
practice exams, old exams, quizzing each other and going over any
material that was difficult to understand. It was helpful to study in a
group in combination with each of our own individual studying.
     The group size was actually good because over the semester we had a
member drop the class and we still had plenty of members to work
together.
It also allowed for two or three of us to meet when we had more
available time than other members of the group. Also pairs of us also
sat in class together often which gave us a chance to consider topics we
should discuss at future meetings. Because we allowed a lot of
flexibility in our meetings and met in subgroups if desired, it wasn't
as difficult to work around everyone's schedules.  Also because we all
knew each other previously we were comfortable working with each other.
      Working in collaborative groups is very effective in an absolute
grading class because you are willing to help others who may be
struggling more than you improve because it is of no detriment to your
grade. Also working in groups is always an effective way to learn and
gives a student additional resources for help. By setting up the groups
in class, it encourages students to actually follow through and improves
all the students' ability to succeed in the class. We all agreed that
what we enjoyed most was getting to know the people in our group better.
It is always nice to have friends in your classes. Also it was helpful
to have a group that would be able to catch you up in the class if you
ever fell behind due to other difficult classes or extenuating
circumstances.
     If the group work was formalized it may be helpful because it would
enforce all members to be committed to the group. This way a student who
wanted to utilize a group would not end up with apathetic students and
lose out. One suggestion for a way to formalize the groups would be to
set a requirement for a group to submit a report once every couple of
weeks. Also possibly assign one topic to discuss in this meeting and
then the report would include what was done at the meeting and talk
about their discussion of the topic. If this was submitted by a certain
date every couple of weeks for five points or so, it would give students
motivation to meet and allow them a chance to earn some points.
     Overall the group has been very helpful. We all agreed that it
somehow helped our performance in the class and gave us an opportunity
to learn and understand more about a difficult course.  
      
                                            Best,
                                              Group 25, Katie et al.