As a Communication major I have completed my fair share of group projects so I was pretty sure what to expect in this class; teamwork. I explained to my roommates, however, that this particular group project has been my most positive of group experiences. The four of us worked very well together socially and academically. Our group meetings weren’t a nuisance and, for once, I wasn’t concerned about group participation. Each of us dedicated a lot of time and consideration to our project and proposal and I am very happy with the outcome of our hard work. We did, however, reach some obstacles when turning a semester of ideas and research into a consumer product. For instance, as Communication students, creating a real website and smartphone application was not exactly our forte so some of the goals we set near the beginning of the semester we couldn’t see through. However, our screen shots, courtesy of Nate, turned out so well that we couldn’t have been happier with a fully functioning website. The only thing I could think of that could have been done differently would have been utilizing our time better near the beginning of the semester. We were on a time crunch to complete the portfolio and presentation by the due date which put an uncomfortable amount of pressure on each of us with the stress of finals and other classwork looming over our heads. Overall, this capstone has been a positive learning experience and I hope to take from it knowledge that I can use throughout my future career. Thanks for a great semester team!
The beginning of this “journey” was daunting to say the least. We, as the Commies, felt overwhelmed. As we got to know each other and felt comfortable, it changed for the better. I absolutely loved my group and the dynamic we had. We were all dedicated to our project and it made working on it enjoyable. Never did I dread going to a meeting. It reinforced the fact that working in groups does not always have to carry a bad connotation. It was difficult to communicate, especially when everyone had conflicting schedules mixed in with Thanksgiving break. We had to rely on technology even more. We did make the best out of the situation and were able to have most of our project finished by the time we came back from break. I don’t think I would necessarily do anything differently next time. I would have a better attitude about group working going into another project. I will miss our capstone class and group. It was a semester that taught me a lot and I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work with great people.
I’ve always liked working in teams on school projects. For me, its easier to learn when you have casual discussions with group members about the topics at hand. It’s also a lot more fun. When we first started this project I was skeptical about whether or not I would enjoy it. Because I’m not actually a communications major, I thought it would also be particularly difficult for me. But after several weeks I realized that the project required a lot more than just a background in communications. I enjoyed applying many business and marketing tools that I’ve learned over the past years to the formation of our website. The most difficult part of the project was organizing the mass amount of ideas that our group had into a comprehensive and understandable format. We had a lot of great ideas that we had to leave out of our presentation because it would have been an information overload. If I were to do anything differently, it would probably be time management. There were times that our group meetings could have been more productive in the time we were given. Other than that I think our group worked extremely well together and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Overall, working with the Community Cats for this presentation was a experience that ended up being very rewarding. I found that each one of my collaborators was very ambitious in their approach to this assignment and our Capstone as a whole. Our first meeting together to brainstorm about our topic proved to be fruitful and the idea of building The Hub was birthed. It was easy to bounce ideas off of each other because we were already comfortable and had built a good group dynamic when constructing our mapping presentation. The only aspect that ever gave us trouble was finding times to meet when everyone could attend, but we managed to coordinate our schedules accordingly for the most part. For me personally, it was difficult sometimes to make impactful contributions when I knew my teammates had already came up with such great ideas. At least for the final project, I did more work “behind the scenes” and helped the other develop their ideas. It was really incredible to see how meticulous they were in designing the portfolio and putting together the virtual tour. I still can’t believe Jeanne was able to put that digital model together.
Let’s face it, most students don’t look forward to doing group projects.. Let alone a semester long group project. Setting times to meet and working with new people can be challenging and frustrating at times. Throughout the entire project I was always very pleased to be part of The Trinity Trackers. My group members were all very organized, friendly, creative, determined and UNDERSTANDING.
One of my favorite aspects about my group was the time we scheduled to meet. Luckily none of us had class right before our capstone at 2pm so we took advantage of that and used about an hour or so before each class to work on our project. I typically dread going to meet with groups during the evenings so this made the whole process much more enjoyable!
Sometimes I wasn’t clear on what we were supposed to do or what our next step was so that was probably the most difficult for me. Thankfully, my group kept me up to speed and helped explain things better to me so that I could understand them.
One thing I would do differently is get everyones phone numbers from the start. For a while we were only communicating through email and that got annoying real quick. Once we exchanged phone numbers communicating was a lot easier.
Overall I was quite thrilled with our team. I am sometimes hesitant to go into randomly assigned groups because I am not sure what to expect. Dealing with many in the past, I was more than a little nervous to place that much of my capstone grade in the hands of others. Luckily I feel like I was blessed with a good group. We were a quite dynamic and I feel that we each brought something different to the team. I also feel as though we all brought really strong ideas together to produce something that would have been difficult to envision as a lone entity. While we did goof around and laugh a lot at our meetings we also got a lot of work done in our time together as well. I credit my other groups members for being good team players and helping us build what I would argue were very strong presentations.
What I believe made this experience good is that we were placed in a long term group situation that was a major determinant on a large part of our grade for this class. In many previous cases I may have been assigned a group to work with, but the project would be small and the time frame short. Having a semester long team that worked on multiple projects brought an entirely new experience that I am glad I got to be a part of. In doing this it forced me to be more reliant on other people and trust them to get their portions of assignments done as well. I tend to be a control freak sometimes and I feel that this helped me relax those tendencies a bit.
I think the most difficult thing for our group was getting together to work with one another. We are all very busy people and with class and jobs it was hard to schedule meetings. To compensate for this a large bulk of our work was split up and done on an individual level. While this creates less stress and is probably more efficient in many ways, it also has its draw-backs. On several occasions we would get back with one another and the vision of what was assumed to be a shared understanding was not always the case. This resulted in minor frustrations of having to discuss and re-edit portions of our project so that we could all be on the same page.
If I were to do this again, I would have placed a greater emphasis on trying to complete the final presentation in advance of Thanksgiving break. While the practice of assigning parts to work on independently seems to be moderately successful in times of prolonged absence from one another, it also created a great deal of stress. Upon returning from break out scheduled meeting time did not fully work out causing us to have to wait till the last minute to finish all portions of the project. When dealing with a team one of the biggest goals is trying to find a common understanding of false deadlines as you complete a project in stages. Some people want to finish as soon as possible, others are more comfortable finishing at the last minute.
Aside from these problems I would say our group was very effective at completing our task and was quite pleased with the outcome.
I did enjoy working with my group, the Columbia Cats. We started off rocky with our mapping presentation. But I think our final presentation turned out much better! We really began to gel in the 2nd part of the semester, and our project started to become much clearer as time went on.
The good: It was a great learning experience and I definitely learned a lot about group communication and problem solving. Luckily, we had no major group problems. We all pretty much got along, and our personalities seemed to mesh really well. Everyone seemed really motivated to have a good final product, and no one was negative energy or pessimistic.
The Bad: Since we are all seniors and all have a full coarse load plus work, at times it was very difficult to schedule a time when we were all free to meet for group meetings. Many times, a lot of our group was really stressed about other stuff going on in our lives, so it made it harder to concentrate on the task at hand. But we all pulled it together and ended on a really strong note.
Next time: I would choose a topic that is a little more narrow in its scope, ie: launch a product or do a pr project for a company. This project was very broad and sometimes vague, which I had a little bit of a problem with. Also, like someone suggested in class, I would have made all of the mapping projects due on the first day the same way the portfolios were all due on the same day. It seemed unfair that the other groups got longer to work on their mapping projects than we did, yet we still had to turn in our portfolio along with the rest of the class.
Overall, it was a good way to learn how to work in groups and I feel that it was a valuable experience.