From: Prof. Gallaugher
To: E. Commerce Students
Re: Group Projects
Date: Jan. 30, 2006

I recognize that the majority of students prefer to form their own groups. As such, I will allow this – however I need to impose some parameters to ensure that everyone can be assigned a group, that we have enough groups of appropriate size and that group formation occurs quickly, minimizing extra effort.

At the time this memo was published there were 48 students registered for the course, so there will be eight groups of 6 students each.  Group sizes will be adjusted accordingly as class registration changes.

Presentations will be 15 minutes in length, followed by a brief Q&A period for each group. Grading criteria have been posted online.

Creating Groups

You have until the beginning of class on the date indicated on the Projects/Readings page to create groups. In order to request your group, you’ll need to send me one e-mail message per group listing all of the members of your group in alphabetical order according to last name, last name listed first. Groups will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis as they arrive in my e-mail inbox. Written submissions are not acceptable. I am trying my best to accommodate the wishes of the class, however please recognize that there are limitations to the process. I will not allow the group formation process to break down into an administrative burden.

Questions:

Can we create a group of larger than the maximum size specified for our section?
No.  I also reserve the right to increase or decrease group size as the class size changes.

Can I work alone?
No

I don’t know anyone in the class – what should I do?
If you aren’t assigned a group, I will assign you to one within one week of the team signup deadline.

Can we form a group of less than the maximum number of students in a group and have you add the rest?
I’ll try, but be aware that your group may have to be broken up if I can’t merge your request with other odd-sized groups or with students who elect to have me assign them to groups.

What if we submit a group request to be a particular size, but the maximum number of teams of that size in our section have been assigned?
That team will need to be broken up. I know it’s uncomfortable, but in a first-come, first-served setting there are always folks who end up submitting late.

I live far away / work / play a sport (pick your criteria). I expect my group to understand this. What if they complain if I can’t make meetings?
This is for the team to resolve. Group members will be asked to evaluate their peers (just like you will do in industry). Some folks do better than others. In industry strong performance translates into raises, bonuses, and promotions. In class this translates into better grades. Anyone contributing at a level that is unacceptable to his/her group should expect to suffer the consequences.

Note:

It is likely that not all students will be satisfied with their group assignments. Please understand that I can not accommodate everyone’s wishes perfectly. I will handle the group formation process in what I believe to be a fair and just manner. I expect and respect your professional cooperation.