CSC340 - Teamwork Notes

All course assignments involve teamwork. Each team is supposed to have four members. Your teams will be assigned by the instructor, and announced before the end of the first week of term. Here are some rules and suggestions to ensure that your teamwork is effective and productive throughout the term.

Getting to know your team

We'll announce the teams during the first week of term. Please make contact with the other members of you your team prior to the first tutorial in week 2. Throughout the term you should make sure that you attend the tutorials as a team.

By the end of week 2, you should have held your first team meeting, selected a name for your team, and discussed possible projects for the term. You must fill out the team information sheet and give it to your tutor in the week 2 tutorial.

Managing a team

Arrange right from the beginning of your collaboration to have regular meetings with your partners. If you decide to drop the course, please notify your partners and the tutor/professor as early as possible.

It takes some effort to ensure that a team functions properly. At the very least, all teams are advised to do the

Note that all the assignments during the term are team assignments. Each team submits one report for each assignment. The reports will be graded, and in general, all members of the team will receive the same grade. In exceptional circumstances, the prof may decide to give some members of a team a different grade than others. In such cases, the prof will discuss this with all team members before the adjustment is made.

You may want to assign overall responsibility for the various tasks involved in each assignment to a particular team member. Alternatively, you may want to assign specific roles to team members, such as:

These are only suggestions - decide amongst yourselves what division of responsibility makese sense. Make sure all team members have a say and are knowledgeable about all aspects of each assignment, even if one person has responsibility for particular tasks.

Handling collaboration problems

If you have problems (because one team member is not showing up or is not carrying his/her weight) report these to the professor or your tutor immediately. We'll try to either help the team get back together, or make alternative arrangements.

Doing assignments

Assignments 3&4 depends on earlier work in assignment 2. This means that if you do badly on assignment 2, this could affect your performance on assignment 3. To avoid problems,  try to keep up a steady pace of work and quality control for your assignments. If you feel that your project in assignment 2 does not provide a good basis for the remaining assignments, please discuss this with your tutor (or the professor) as early as possible, to allow us to help you with alternatives.

Self-evaluation of team members contributions

Each assignment must include a brief report of relative contributions  by each team member. This report should be signed by all members. In the simplest case, this report will say that all members contributed equally. In some cases, the report will assign a different distribution, e.g., team member 1  contributed 40%, team member 2 contributed 30%, team members 3 and 4 contributed 15% each. In a few cases, team members don't agree on relative contributions and the professor will have to make a decision on the matter.

Plan for an equal contribution  by each team member. Alternatives are messy, unrewarding and time-consuming  for everyone!

Plagiarism and Collusion

You might ponder how the need for teamwork assignment interacts with university rules on plagiarism and collusion. To help you understand what is okay and what is not okay, you should understand how the university regulations on plagiarism and collusion apply to team projects. Here is a quote from the relevant section of the calendar:

"It shall be an offence for a student knowingly [...] to represent as one's own any idea or expression of an idea or work of another in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work, i.e. to commit plagiarism;"

For team projects, with team assignments, plagiarism shall be interpreted as any situation in which one team knowingly submits work that was carried out by another team, without explicitly declaring that this is the case. This will include collusion, i.e. any situation in which two or more teams work together to complete an assignment such that it is not possible to determine what each team did separately. Hence, if you use ideas or work of others as part of completing your assignments, you should be very careful to distinguish the work of your team from the work of others.

See also:


Talk to your tutor or the professor.