CL1 - Stories: Building on and Integrating Previous Knowledge



Building on and Integrating Previous Knowledge
- by Ann Burgess

Some advice and reflections on this plan

Effective teamwork is essential for the success of this plan, and it does not happen automatically. We specify roles that rotate each week and provide a time each week for team members to give each other feedback. The roles are: Facilitator (makes sure everyone understands each worksheet question before the team begins to discuss it, encourages everyone to participate, helps the group reach consensus, arranges out-of-class meetings); Monitor (keeps everyone on task, monitors time, moves the group along to assure that the tasks are done in the allotted time); Recorder (writes down the group's consensus answers to the worksheet questions); and Reporter (makes sure the group discusses how it functioned that week, reports the group's answers during the class discussion).

Colleagues more experienced with group work advised us that individual accountability is important; this is the reason for the weekly quizzes. They ensure that everyone is prepared to contribute to the team worksheets.

We get continual feedback on how the class is going from the team worksheets, teamwork evaluations, and from a student Board of Directors. The later is composed of one volunteer from each discussion section and shares power with the faculty in setting course policies.

It is essential that our grading system be in alignment with our goals. We have an absolute grading scale so that students are not in competition with each other and no one is penalized by helping others succeed. The worksheets are a key part of the course and account for 50% of the points. The remaining 50% is from individual work, including quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam.

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