Your lab team is supposed to help you with the work of
the team lab assignments. You cooperate as a team
to solve a problem and submit it as a team.
Make sure that all teammates understand what was done to
solve the team problems - any of the material can show up on a quiz in class!
It is good to look at the assignment ahead of time, before the lab.
It is ok to work out how you would do it, even code it if you want.
BUT you must do the code with your team in lab. It is NOT sufficient just
to show the other team members what you did and then say "let's turn it in".
Work it out again step by step - listen to what your partners have
to say, maybe they have a simpler way to solve the problem, maybe
they see a bug you did not. The work turned in should be a joint effort.
You are expected to do your share of the work on a lab.
If you don't contribute to your team, you can lose the privilege
of having a team and have to do all the work by yourself.
Your TA has the responsibility to judge how a team
is going. They have the authority to dissolve a group.
If you say "I'd rather work by myself", here are some facts
you should know:
- Teaching a concept to someone else is
one of the best ways to learn it yourself. Even if you
"already know all this", you will derive benefits
from explaining it to someone else.
- If you go on in studying ANY engineering field, not just
Computer Science, you will be working on teams in many classes.
Being able to work well with a team is a skill many employers
find desirable. And it IS a skill that can be learned
One day you may be the manager of
a team of programmers or the head programmer of a team.
In both cases you need to be able to not just DO
the job but explain it to your teammates/ assistants /
- Some people say "I can't get along with my partner."
"I don't want my grade dependent on someone else's work".
"I want to pick my own partner."
One thing you will find out when you get a job: you do not
get to choose whom you are going to work with except
in very rare circumstances. Practice in getting along with people
who do not have the same work style or thinking pattern
as you do is valuable! And it is a fact of life that
your evaluation often DOES depend on other people's work!
A reminder that everyone on the team is responsible for making
sure THEY understand the material in the exercises. If you
understand the material, explain it to your teammates.
If you don't understand the material, it is your job to ask
questions of your teammates, your TA, Dr. Keen until you do understand it.
Some suggestions from previous classes and quotes from a survey
- Don't depend on someone else on the team to do the work.
You should make an individual attempt before the lab period,
so you are ready to do the work with your team members.
communicate with your team! even if only by email,
make sure you know what they're doing and they know what you're
- make sure you get a copy of the team product and that you
- expect your teammates to carry their share of the load -
if they don't, get the work done yourself but tell your TA
"it's great. I have learned more working together than working independently"
"the teams are fine. they make the labs easier."
- Having a team motivated me to do the work - someone was depending
"decent idea that doesn't work very well. usually just split the problems, someone does more/better work and students don't understand the concepts from the problems his/her partner did" - don't let this happen to you!