To: "Dr. Rainer Glaser" 
Subject: RE: Group Dynamics Report
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 10:43:14 -0600
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
Importance: Normal

Hi Dr. Glaser,

Sorry about that--we are Group Number 4 "Die Chemikerinnen."

Here is my group's dynamics report. The members of the group are:

Emily M. Bradford
Irene L. Chang
Ashley L. Crisp
Alexis K. Deeker
Lauren Hart
Amanda M. Paulus

The members of our group did not all previously know each other so being
in a collaborative group together was a nice way to meet and work with
fellow students from an otherwise huge lecture class. In a course based on
non-competitive grading, we agree that cooperation is a positive strategy
since everyone benefits. However, it was extremely difficult to coordinate
six people's schedules so that we could meet frequently to work on
chemistry. With all of us working outside of class on top of full
courseloads, we felt that even if our group had been slightly smaller, it
would have still been hard to coordinate times so the size of the group
was not really the problem.

Despite this, we did manage to meet prior to each exam to study together.
During these meetings, generally lasting from one to two hours, we went
over questions that any group members had about lecture or problems in the
book, and discussed or worked through the exams posted on the web from
previous years. In addition to meeting before exams, we also met on a few
occasions for shorter time periods, generally less than an hour, if people
needed help working through problems from the book. At these shorter
meetings, not everyone in the group could meet, so whoever could make it
would go. Other than those meetings, we actually found that one of the
most useful strategies for studying collaboratively was to just e-mail the
group with any questions about class material and get our questions
answered that way.

We mainly worked on problems from the book and previous exams together;
online exercises such as the News Items and Visualization Centers were
generally worked on alone unless there were specific questions. If there
were, then the other members of the group would try to answer, usually
over e-mail.

We also wanted to mention that perhaps for future classes, collaborative
groups could be strongly recommended but not absolutely required for the
class. Besides the difficulty of coordinating schedules of 4-6 people, the
learning styles of people also differ. Some people prefer studying alone
while others learn best when studying with others, and for those people,
they will automatically go find other people to study with. So for some
final comments, all of the members of our group worked well together and
though it was very hard to find compatible times for all of us to meet,
when we did meet to study it was helpful. Overall, this has been a
positive experience.


Irene Chang