Personal Experience Essay on Teamwork and Participation


Over the course of Bio 498WI this semester, my group has been effectively communicating through the use of GroupMe and conducting weekly Zoom meetings to communicate our ideas and thoughts to each other. In terms of accountability, I would score my group a 5 because of how often we communicate with one another and spend countless hours on Zoom meetings discussing what we should focus on for the week and understand what information everyone presented in our google document. Personally, I have been accountable to my team by finding supplemental information on miRNA biomarkers, providing feedback on the sources that other individuals in our group have provided, and always being responsive when our group discussed information in our group chat. In terms of our entire group, it never felt that any of us weren’t pulling as much weight as the others. We discussed what our objective goals were during our Zoom meetings and everyone did as much as they could to contribute to the overall project without having to be asked to do more. In return, we communicated effectively and held ourselves accountable for keeping the project on track throughout the semester. In terms of being responsive, I would rate our Group a 5 as well. Our group constantly communicated with one another via email or GroupMe whenever we weren’t in Zoom: this always allowed us to hold each other accountable for what was expected of each other. There was never more than a 5-minute wait for a response back in our group chat.

Although finding relevant information on our subject was a fairly difficult task, we still enjoyed working with one another. We were able to have serious conversations and great focus when working on our project, but we also cracked jokes occasionally to lighten the work mood which helped us enjoy the process more. Because of this, I would give our group a 1 on a “jerk-score” because I enjoyed working with people in my group and felt that we had good chemistry with one another. There never seemed to be a moment where we didn’t enjoy working on the project together and we constantly provided feedback and tried to set deadlines on our project. Although this semester was short, working with my group made it much more enjoyable. 

As a group, we all had our individual accomplishments on our project. I would rate Kaityln, Jacob, Paige, and myself a 5 on what we each individually did for the group's paper. Personally, I worked on formatting and writing the methods section of the paper such as explaining how we filtered articles, the group’s collaboration, and communication, as well as explaining to the reader how the project was conducted. I also found specifics in how blast-TBIs were conducted (how were mice manipulated: were the mice tied down?, how was the experiment executed?, what object hit them?, etc…) and helped explain what problems we see in these articles (such as they focus on different miRNA rather than similar ones, finding a reliable TBI biomarker to detect symptoms and assess the severity of TBIs). 

Every individual in our group worked on various different things. Kaitlyn helped coordinate group meetings, communicated with Dr. Huang on behalf of the group with questions/concerns, and helped organize the introduction, discussion, and summary sections (worked on adding information, formatting, and proofreading). Jacob helped define the similarities and differences between sTBI and bTBIs, organized the results section which included miRNA physiological response to primary/secondary injury, and researched how bTBI miRNA were affected in short and long-term intervals. Paige worked on the background and introduction section to help explain what miRNA biomarkers are and explain what their relationship to TBIs are, as well as created google docs with outlines and what our expectations were to help organize our research. 

Despite working independently on our own subject, we often helped each other research and narrow information down that we should add to our project and not specifically focus on just doing our own thing. Because of this, I would give my group a 5 on balancing between independence and compliance. For the most part we were jumping around on our project helping one another add and research articles that would be beneficial. In terms of “pushing for initiatives and pushing the limits”, our group always took the initiative to get research done, add more information, and get stuff done to be on track. Nothing was put off for a different time and we always planned when our next meeting was going to be. Since our topic was fairly new and there isn’t much available information, we did have to “push the limits” so to say and really critically think how we’re going to be able to connect the information together. I would give our group a 5 because we tried - to the best of our abilities - to critically think on how to connect the information we researched.

Our group chemistry has been a strong point throughout the semester, so I would rate Fairness at a 5. We always held each other accountable for what was expected of us and how we needed to contribute to the group by setting deadlines and objective goals during each zoom meeting. It never felt like anyone was slacking and dragging the group behind. We all helped each other research, add information on each topic, and offered our opinion and thoughts on how we wanted to proceed with slide presentations or outlines (we never had any issues within the group on how we want to function or go about completing our project). 

All and all, it felt like our teamwork and participation was greatly executed. I didn’t feel emotionally or physically drained while working on the project, but I did feel like I got a “high” with my teamwork experience. Overall, the main reason why, as a team, we worked well and got things accomplished in a timely manner was because of our constant communication via email/GroupMe and deadlines we set for when we wanted our slides presentations and outlines finished. In the future, I would suggest that you should have more detailed explanations on what you expect out of your students when it’s time for meetings or for future meetings. Regardless, I would give our teamwork and this semester a 5/5.

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