Unfortunately, as is always the case with a larger group of people, a sizeable number were unable to attend this meeting prior to the event opening night. Sometimes, this might be a good thing in reflection, because those who do attend, seem to bond together just a little bit more. Anyway, a number of decisions were made, which I think again in reflection, were right and proper.
One of the main decisions has been to remove the artificial segregation between group A and group B, as it is clear that we will all need to support each other, in various ways by working on our individual strengths within the team to help it move forward.
My biggest concern at the moment is a lack of what appears to be, an understanding within the group of the grading criteria, with respect to the necessary academic rigour that we need to apply to our practical tasks and obligations. This is particularly evident in the production of the website, as it is now two weeks since the original meeting that we had, and there is a lack of designs and critical reflection having been documented in order to help the group select the most appropriate format for the website.
It seems that my request for some group members to create evidence of their decision-making and research is falling on deaf ears. Whilst I am conscious that this could affect potential marks for the group activity, I'm also conscious that with the correct back filling (that is supplementing any lack of work through the absence of those team members who are appearing to choose not to engage), we can, try to resolve these shortfalls. (I recall after the meeting, saying something like "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink to Dr Bailey)... However, this puts greater pressure on those members of the team that are conscientious, and wanting to try hard to achieve the best of their ability.
This is a classic example of group dynamics operating, and it appears that this exercise, and these interactive situations, we are no different to any other group. Part of my role is to recognise this, understand blockers and shortfalls, and put plans in place to circumvent, or at least alleviate potential problems, as we move forward.
Nevertheless, as is always the case, various people have their own unique and individual issues to deal with which must always take priority for themselves. So, with a group size of 12 people (that we now have), there is sufficient resource to level out peaks and troughs of productivity demands and requirements.
Further thoughts;I'm delighted that there was a large number of students that attended the opening event on Thursday, and our previous meeting of the 15th helped to prepare and make sure everyone knew what was expected of them.
- The group is beginning to gel together.
- There are clearer and more defined roles and responsibilities which helps people to focus on what is expected of them.
- We still have another two weeks to go before we present our ideas back to our client, and so I think it is vital that at our next meeting on 22 February there is clear evidence (from an academic standpoint) to show and to articulate that we have not only researched our ideas, but have collectively selected and chosen the most appropriate recommendations for Dr Devlin.
- We have replayed our own interpretation of the explanation given to us by our client Dr Devlin in a number of different ways within the group. I have been able to document this to a sufficient level to be able to provide him with the confidence that I think he is seeking from us.