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Shake & Bake Group Reflection: What Happened and What I Would Change Upon entering the classroom I was overcome with nervous emotions and began to worry how the class period would turn out. Today in CAS 250 class we would be selecting the group members that we were going to work with throughout the semester on a variety of projects. Since I did not know a lot of people in the class I was worried that I would be placed in a group I would not get along with or work well with. I was experiencing the beginning of what would become primary tension after being placed into a group. I was placed in a group comprised mainly of forestry majors who had been friends for a few years, and together we formed the group ³Shake & Bake´. What things went well? While working as a group to generate and evaluate a problem of our choice, we used the five steps of P-MOPS to help guide us through the decision making process. The group was very thorough when describing our chosen problem of Elm Yellows and Dutch elm disease on campus. We able to effectively summarize the problem, establish criteria, make an outline and schedule, and focus on the problem and not the solutions. After completing the problem description and analysis we then let our mind run free for ideas that could possibly solve our problem. We had no trouble brainstorming a large quantity of solutions and were able to explain and clarify the majority of them to a point that made each option a viable choice. All of the
visual aids. After evaluating and discussing pros and cons of each proposed solution we were able to narrow our list enough to a point where we were able to come to a consensus decision that would involve parts of a few proposed solutions. we were able to produce a few implementation strategies that would allow for our solution to be carried out in a feasible manner. Since the entire group has some sort of environmental major and background in this area. The group also had a bad habit of talking to and making eye contact with the visual aid rather than the class. The group came to this consensus so easily because we did not argue stubbornly about our positions. The only other problem area that occurred while working in this group was the randomly occurring miscommunication that occurred throughout the semester. avoided majority vote and stalemates. and were able to effectively communicate and combine each other¶s thoughts into one final decision. Our group could have also used some practice before presentations because I felt like we were unorganized and kind of jumbled while presenting our work to the class. and rate of their voices as well as practicing with the visual aids.possible solutions were written down and then we proceeded to evaluate all of the possible solutions. consisted of too many words and did not keep it short and simple. While practicing presentations the group could have worked on issues such as volume. After forming the group I feel like we did not do a good job of defining rules and norms for the group and should have created a more concrete set of rules to run off of. pitch. When delivering our class presentations some of our PowerPoint slides. The group should have worked on being active listeners so that we . What things would you do differently? When I look back at the group project as a whole there are a few things that I would have liked to change that could have made our group stronger and able to more effectively communicate and present our solution.
initiating and orienting. The group was very relaxed and tended to joke around making the working environment fun. but the joking was usually taken to a level where the group became very unproductive and could not accomplish its task in a reasonable amount of time. clarifying. Luckily we all got along very well and were able to generate norms for the group based off of our early behavior and made the group experience as enjoyable and fun as possible. Other self-centered functions displayed by group members were withdrawing and acting helpless. and focusing on irrelevancies.would better understand each other and if any confusion were to arise we could quickly correct it by paraphrasing the material back to the speaker and asking him for confirmation. opinion giving. But on the other . What are some strengths and weaknesses you observed in your group? Group Shake and Bake had a good variety of strengths and weaknesses that in the end balanced out to create a quality group. The group as a whole had trouble finding appropriate times to meet since we all had different schedules and agendas. pseudo listening. What was the biggest challenge you as an individual or the group as a whole faced? The biggest challenge for me as an individual throughout this whole group experience was my ability to relate to and create rules and norms with the rest of the group members. evaluating. The sentence above describes a self-centered function. I am a very shy person and since my group was comprised of a group of friends that had known each other for some time it was hard to become a member of the group because I essentially had to become a part of the group of friends. coordinating. The group also displayed some poor listening habits such as sidetracking. The group was good at using task functions such as information giving and seeking. as well as recording to make the majority of work and presentations run smoothly. elaborating.
I learned that you should always speak your mind and not worry about how stupid you sound because when generating solutions every idea counts and could be used as part of your final solution. When having . Using the knowledge I have obtained over the course of the semester I will help to prevent groupthink and the group from conforming to any idea or solution without the consensus of the group. Any presentations done in the future will be thoroughly practiced and will concentrate on keeping eye contact with the audience. What did you learn from working in this group? From working in this group I was able to see that you do not need to be a very outgoing and loud person to effectively communicate with group members and present projects to the class. utilizing technology. not becoming too close minded. How might you approach group work and interactions in the future? After completing the group experience I am definitely going to approach future group work in a different manner. When discussing the problem and going about finding a solution I realized that the use of a model such as P-MOPS helped to keep the group organized and pointed in the right direction. and making sure the presentation runs smoothly and effective conveys the problem and or solution to the audience. using properly formatted visual aids (PowerPoint). I also learned that generating a solid set of rules and norms makes your group function at a higher level of efficiency and helps to keep the group members in line.hand the group did a great job of preventing groupthink by avoiding leader preference. Through working with this group I was able to improve my presentation skills and learned how to create PowerPoint¶s as visual aids rather than a document that you read word for word to the audience. and feeling no pressure to conform to any certain idea or solution. tone of voice used to present.
Overall the group experience went very well and I had my eyes opened to a new world of communication and presentation techniques that allow group work and presentations to flow smoothly if correctly followed. . Over the course of the semester I was able to bond and make friends with the members of my group and even though we have entered the adjourning phase of our group work I feel that we will stay in touch and extend our relationships outside of the classroom. I will also ensure that group members speak their minds and provide all necessary input into whatever problem the group is trying to tackle. Even though the members of my group did not see eye to eye on every situation we were able to effectively work out our problems and in the end produced an exceptional group project addressing the issue of diseased elms of campus. Any group formed in the future will have rules and norms established that provide a comfortable working environment where some joking is allowed but it will not be allowed to reach the point where group members are off task. A schedule will be formed with all of the possible meeting times for each group member and an outline with dates will be made to ensure the project is completed on time. and try to avoid things such as pseudo listening and silent arguing. Entering this class I was afraid of interacting with my peers and expressing myself but the relaxed atmosphere of my group and the class in general allowed me to build my presentation skills and overall improved my ability to effectively communicate to others.group meetings I will ensure we use active listening techniques in order to fully understand other group members.