Humanizing Student Group Work

  • You are all on the same team.
  • This is a learning community. This means that it is everyone’s job to make sure everyone is engaged and is learning. Your particular position may ebb and flow in time. Sometimes you might be the person who needs to be drawn in, and at other times, you might be the person who needs to draw others in. But whoever you are, it’s all good, because you all have each other’s back.
  • As a corollary, this means that the group never leaves anyone behind. If you are feeling lost or overwhelmed during group work, there are multiple routes to resolution. Because two-way communication is always helpful, I encourage you to speak up and express your needs so the group can support you. But additionally, there is a responsibility for the group to be frequently checking in with each other to make sure everyone is on board.
  • Helping someone learn something is more important than completing the assignment quickly. Did I mention this course is ungraded?
  • If you are someone who participates a lot and talks a lot <looks in mirror> that is wonderful, but please consciously step back a little to make space for others. If you are someone who is a bit quieter or more shy about group participation, consider stepping up to contribute more actively to the group and to make your voice heard. No matter who you are or what you are like, you should frequently ask yourself questions such as “do the voices in this group feel equal?” and “is everyone being treated with dignity?”
  • Groups must behave ethically, equitably, and inclusively. If you experience or witness discrimination, harassment, bullying, or assault, I ask you to please report it to me immediately. If I do not feel like an appropriate and safe resource for you, please report it to any of the other resources listed in the course syllabus.

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Professor, data scientist, applied mathematician, social justice researcher and activist, nonprofit leader. See www.chadtopaz.com and www.qsideinstitute.org.

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Chad M. Topaz

Chad M. Topaz

Professor, data scientist, applied mathematician, social justice researcher and activist, nonprofit leader. See www.chadtopaz.com and www.qsideinstitute.org.

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