In the second week of class, we all worked together to form a "new syllabus". In this document, we came up with a bunch of different standards and rules that we set for ourselves and for our classmates. This was another example of how working in small groups can be very successful. The class was broken into several small groups of about 4 people. In these groups, we were assigned a subject on which to base a new policy. The one that my group was assigned was "Timeliness of Homework". After discussing a few different options as to what the best yet most fair way to approach the issue was, we came together on a conslusion rather quickly. Within our group, no one person dominated or demanded they have their way. We were all very agreeable and politely pointed out flaws in certain plans.
After we proposed our idea to the class, the students were able to tell us if they thought our criteria was fair or if there was some kind of alteration to it that they would suggest. When all comments were heard, the policy was voted on by thumbs up/middle/down. Although some students may not have necessarily loved the policy we came up with, they were not so opposed to it that they refuted it. I think that taught an important lesson in the class, as well. Even though you may not wholly agree with a decision being made, it is important to form a consensus in the group. That is, being able to let it pass without trying to stop it. I was glad to see that even though we did not receive all thumbs up, we reached consensus and nobody tried to stop the policy from going through. Consensus is a bit of a sacrifice being made, but if it is for the good of the group/company, I think people are often much more accepting of it than they would be if they felt like they were personally losing something.