Self-directed learning project - 2013/Memo 1

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Class date(s): 24 September 2012 (last updated)
Nuvola mimetypes pdf.png (PDF) Memo on group norms


McMaster Chemical Engineering (McChem Inc.)

1280 Main Street West

Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4L7


To Colleagues in Chemical Engineering 4N04
cc: Danielle Maitland and Christopher Ewaschuk
Date: 16 September 2013
From: Kevin Dunn
Subject: Group norms and logbook

<rst> <rst-options: 'toc' = False/> <rst-options: 'reset-figures' = False/> Group norms


The groups have now formed. The TAs and myself were pleased to see good group interaction in the first tutorial, and we hope this continues for the duration of the next 3 months.

To encourage clear communication between groups we will require each group to establish their group norms. Please use the following questions as guidance for your document, it is not a complete list:

.. * What are our goals for this course?

  • How will we ensure we are prepared?
  • How will we distribute work equitably?
  • How will we proceed if a group member is absent with an excuse (at a tutorial, assignment, or group meeting); without an excuse; and what is a reasonable excuse?
  • How to deal with one or more people that have a low motivation to get work completed, or a person that is not contributing.

.. * How will we handle feedback amongst our group: what will and will not be considered constructive criticism? .. * The role of chairperson must be rotated equally throughout the term. How will your group achieve this? (Please read material in tab 2 on your own time.) .. * How will we deal with a failed grade in a tutorial or assignment? .. * Will we have a process for counteracting "groupthink"? .. * How will we document our group decisions, without creating excessive paperwork? .. * How will we ensure quality control on our work? .. * How will we make sure our group time is enjoyable?

If you and your group are open and honest, and clearly communicate your concerns, then the better you should be able to handle the issues and anticipated pitfalls described above. Not everyone in your group will have the same expectations as yourself when it comes to challenging situations.



Create a shared Google Doc that answers the above questions. "Share" your document in Google Docs with the following addresses:


Use the following name for your document: ``Group ZN - group log book for 4N4``, where ``Z`` is either **A** or **B**, and ``N`` is your group number. **Please make sure the sharing permission is "Can comment" or "Can edit"**.

You must share your document by 20 September 2013.

Weekly instructions


Your group must keep the log book up to date. Track the chair's name, responsibilities, meeting times, and meeting minutes.

Every week, indicate who the chairperson was and indicate the tasks assigned to each person. Your group can use any format for the document, as long as it is clear. You might consider using a spreadsheet with a tab for each week, or you might be more comfortable with an ordinary document.


Kevin Dunn </rst>