Lilli writes: Challenges of Team Projects

Matthew H.

At my desk
At my desk

I want to begin by saying that I have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with one amazing teammate, Matthew H.  Serendipity brought us together.  Actually, it was the XML course we took together.

When it was time to pick teams, I used the course discussion board and put out an advertisement, since I was taking the class from a distance.  I stated that I was working towards an A and that my work schedule allowed me to dedicate Saturday through Monday every week on the course assignments.  I felt that was the perfect way to set the ground rules of when I plan on contributing to the project and that I was looking for teammates who also desired an A in the class.   The team ended up being me, one student who actually went to class every week, a guy from New York City and Matthew H. residing in London, England.

Two of the guys really loved the chat sessions which to me felt more like unproductive meetings, but Matthew H. and I really hit it off.  Matthew H. was one of those rare individuals who didn’t want to just do the assignment, he wanted to make it perfect and cool.  By the end of the XML course, Matthew H. and I decided to take our next course together.  We took Visualization with Hans Peter Pfister and were considered to be the “dream team”.  Our project is still viewable on-line I think.

The other courses I have taken that require team projects were disappointing, because Matthew H. had truly spoiled me.  The teams I ended up with were made up of non-proactive, wait til someone makes me, prefer to diasagree, drive me crazy individuals.  You know – like real life?  Make sure that if you find yourself in this situation, that you set ground rules and enforce them at every step.  And remember, NEVER complain to the professor about a teammate.  Part of the grade is working well with teams.  If you whine to the professor, they will hold it against you.

Do a good deed and be a good teammate!

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