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Question: 716 a large of portion of this class requires you...

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7:16 A large of portion of this class requires you to work in groups. Some groups are more effective than others. This article discusses some of the reasons that members are less effective and provides some strategies on how to deal with less effective For this assignment, please read the Group Hitchhikers & Couch Potatoes and summarize the key points in 2-3 paragraphs. Then, please provide a personal narrative on whether you have experienced Hitchhikers or Couch potatoes in the past and how this article will help you to navigate such individuals in the Items Required for this Assignment 1. Summary of the Article 2. Your Narrative on whether you have experienced / had similar issues discussed in the article 3. Your thoughts on how you will use this article for a more efficient /effective group Important Notes on your Group Work in this Class A large portion of this class requires you to work in Groups Each student will be evaluated by his or her team and this evaluation makes up a large part of your grade. e any group issues, you nced to address it quickly. Group issues that are left to fester become worse this is a consistent finding. The Professor cannot help you if you bring up group issues during the last two weeks of class. Grading Rubric key points in TORAG BN
Coping with Hitchhikers and Couch Potatoes on Teams rible teachers. At first you felt sorry recently youve begun to wonder if Jack is using you Jack speaks loudly and self-confidently when you You will usually find your university teammates as interested in learning as you are. Occasionally, how- ever, you may encounter a person who creates difficul- ties. This handout is meant to give you practical advice for this type of situation. try to discuss his problems-he thinks the problems are everyone elses fault. He is so self-assured that you cant help wondering sometimes if hes right. Your group finally was so upset they went to dis- To begin with, lets imagine you have been as cuss the situation with Professor Distracted. He in turrn signed to a combined homework and lab group this semesterwith three others: Mary, Henry, and Jack. is okay -shes not good at solving problems, but she tries hard, and she willingly does things like get extra help from the professor. Henry is irritating. Hes a nice guy, but he just doesnt put in the effort to do a good talked, along with the group, to Jack, who in sincere and convincing fashion said he hadntreally understood everyone wanted him to do. Dr. Distracted said the problem must be the group was not communicating effectively. He noticed you, Mary, and Henry looked ary what angry and agitated, while Jack simply looked bewil ob.He ll sheepishly handover partially worked home dered, a little hurt, and not at all guilty. It was easy for work problems and confess to spending the weekend Dr. Distracted to conclude this was a dysfunctional watching TV. Jack, on the other hand, has been noth- group, and everyone was at fault probably Jack least ing but a problem. Here are a few of the things Jack of all has done: When you tried to set up meetings at the begias ning of the semester, Jack just couldnt meet, be- cause he was too busy The bottom line: You and your teammates are left holding the bag. Jack is getting the same good grades as everyone else without doing any work. Oh yes -he managed to make you all look bad while he was at it .Jack infrequently turns in his part ofthe homework What this group did wrong: Absorbing When he does, its almost always wrong he ob- viously spent just enough time to scribble thing down that looks like work Jack has never answered phone messages. When whatever the cost. Hitchhikers count on you to act in a you confront him, he denies getting any messages. self-sacrificing manner. However, the nicer you are (or You e-mail him, but hes too busy to answer.the nicer you think you are being), the more the hitch- This was an absorber group. From the very be- e some-ginning they absorbed the problem when Jack did some- thing wrong, and took pride in getting the job done Jack misses every meeting he always promises hiker will be able to hitchhike their way through the hell be there, but never shows up. His writing skills are okay, but he cant seem to do anything right for lab reports. He loses the drafts, doesnt reread his work, leaves out tabl something sloppy like write equations by hand. Youve stopped assigning him work because you dont want to miss your professors strict deadlines. university-and through life. By absorbing the hitchhikers problems, you are inadvertently training the hitchhiker to become the kind of person who thinks it is all right to take credit for the work of others. es, ordoes What this group should have done: Jack constantly complains about his fifty-hour work weeks, heavy school load, bad textbooks, and ter- Its important to reflect back the dysfunctional behavior of the hitchhiker, so the hitchhiker pays the price-not you. Never accept accusations, blame, or criticism from a hitchhiker. Maintain your own sense e what the hitchhiker says, (easier said This essay is a brief, adapted version from lt Takes Twoto Tango How Good Students Enable Problematic Behavior in Teams, Barbara Oakley, Journal of Student Centered Learning. Volume 1, Issue 1, Fall, 2002, pp. 19-27 reality despit
than done). Show you have a bottom line: there are limits to the behavior you will accept. Clearly com- municate these limits and act consistently on them. For By the time you find out his problems are never-end example, here is what the group could have done: People like Jack can be skilled manipulators. ing, and he himself is their cause, the semester has ended and he is off to repeat his manipulations on a new,un- When Jack couldnt find time to meet in his busy suspecting group. Stop allowing these dysfunctional schedule, even when alternatives were suggested, patterns early in the game before the hitchhiker takes you needed to decide whether Jack was a hitch advantage of you and the rest of your team! hiker. Was Jack brusque, self-important, and in a hurry to get away? Those are suspicious signs. Henry, the Couch Potato Someone needed to tell Jack up front to either find time to meet, or talk to the professor But we havent discussed Henry yet. Although Henry stood up with the rest of the group to try to battle If Jack turns nothing in, his name does not go on against Jacks irmrational behavior, he hasnt really been the finished work. (Note: if you know your team pulling his weight. (If you think of yourself as tired mate is generally a contributor, it is appropriate to and bored and really more interested in watching T help if something unexpected arises.) Many pro- than working on your homework-everyone has had fessors allow a team to fire a student, so the would- times like these -you begin to get a picture ofthe couch be freeloader has to work alone the rest of the se- potato.) mester. Discuss this option with your instructor if the student has not contributed over the course of potato like Henry is the way you deal with a hitchhiker You will find the best way to deal with a couch n assignment or two et firm, explicit expectations then stick to your guns Although couch potatoes are not as manipulative as If Jack tums in poorly prepared homework or lab reports, you must tell him he has not contributed hitchhikers, they will definitely test your limits. If your meaningfully, so his name will not go on the sub- limits are weak, you then share the blame if you have mitted work. No matter what Jack says, stick to Henrys work to do as well as your own. your guns! If Jack gets abusive, show the professor his work. Do this the first time the junk is submit- But Ive Never Liked Telling People What ted, before Jack has taken much advantagenot to Do! after a month, when you are really getting frustrated. If you are a nice person who has always avoided confrontation, working with a couch potato or ahitch- .Set your limits early and high, because hitchhikers e an uncanny ability to detect just how much they can get away with. If Jack doesnt respond to e-mails, answer phone dont waste hiker can help you grow as a person and learn the im- portant character trait of firmness. Just be patient with yourself as you learn. The first few times you try to be firm, you may find yourself thinkingbut now he/she messages, or show up for meetings, waste more time trying to contact him. (It can be helpful, wont like me-its not worth the pain! But many particularly in industry, to use e-mail for contact- people just like you have had exactly the same troubled ing purposes, because then a written record is avail reaction the first few (or even many) times they tried to able about the contact attempt.Copying the e-mail be f your guns! Some- to Jacks supervisor or other important people can day it will seem more natural and you wont feel so often produc Keep in mind the only one who can handle Jacks In the problems is Jack. You cant change him youcan spend with your family,friends, or schoolwork, because only change your own attitude so he no longer takes you arent doing someone elses job along with your advantage of you. Only Jack can change Jack own. and he will have no incentive to change if you do all his work for him. firm.Just keep trying -and stick to e surprisingly effective results.) guilty about having reasonable expectations for others meantime, you will find you have more time to
Common Characteristics that Allow a Hitchhiker to Take Advantage Unw ingness to allow a slacker to fail and subse- quently learn from their own mistakes Devotion to the ideal of the good of the team,-without common-sense realization of how this can allow others to take advantage of you. Sometimes you show (and are secretly proud of irrational loy- alty to others * .You like to make others happy even at your own expense You always feel you have to do better -your best is never enough. Your willingness to interpret the slightest contri- bution by a slacker as progress. You are willing to make personal sacrifices so as to not abandon a hitchhiker-without realizing you are devaluing yourself in this process. Long-suffering martyrdom-nobody but you could stand this The ability to cooperate but not delegate Excessive conscientiousness The tendency to feel responsible for others at the expense of being responsible for yourself A related circumstance: youre doing all the work As soon as you become aware everyone is leav- ing the work to you or doing such poor work that you are left doingit all, you need to take action. Many pro-fessors allow you the leeway to request a move to an-
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