The Ups and Downs of Collaboration

In the past, I have had many collaborative experiences. Most of the experiences were in science classes during labs. This specific time was in my AP Chemistry class during my senior year in high school. The group was selected randomly, by our random seating chart. During labs, we usually were given specific directions of the process we had to complete in order to get the results we needed. We made most of our decisions based on these instructions, but some had to be decided by ourselves. The labor was divided by giving each of the 5 people a specific job. There was a data recorder and around 4-5 others who would perform the experiment. We would change jobs each time so no one felt like they were doing it all by themselves. One time, there was a very difficult titration lab with a very short time limit. Tensions were high for everyone. We resolved this by following the directions and completing them in a timely matter. This ended up working well for every lab. That is also how we maintained quality. Things had to be precise, with very little mistakes, and had to be done quickly. If a mistake was made, we would try our best to resolve it quickly as a group. In order to praise each other, we would always say “good job team” or something of that sort after every lab was completed. In this case, the project was done when the lab was completed.

During collaboration, I was very involved. My job was different every time. In collaborative work in general, I tend to take charge and do a lot of it myself. I get nervous that the task will not be completed adequately and I do not always trust others to do their jobs. This lab group was very different. I believe this was because we all were dedicated to this class since it was an AP class. If people are not pulling their weight in a group, I usually pick up their slack. Making another person get involved and risking getting a good grade was not worth it to me. The way fairness is decided is different depending on the group and the project. If the group is involved and wants to participate, we will divide the project evenly between everyone. If it’s a very large project, the tasks will often be divided fairly as well. I measure success by the grade we earn as a group. When I disagree with what the group thinks, I will share my opinion with the facts why I think its different than the group is currently thinking.

-Alex

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