Google Groups & Summer

Date August 17, 2008

It’s been awhile, but last week was busy for all of us. The students became very stressed because all of the summer work was due. Some of this became escalated if they didn’t bother reading until this week. On top of that is that one of the assignments was a group project, and the students who usually grab the assignment and lets other group members slide can’t do it here; they’re all THAT student! Now that’s done, and I bet the APES can rest a little easier this weekend.

As for me, I am struggling to find ways to inform the students of the purpose of the Google Group for this class. What I get is: typos, no punctuation, misspellings, a lack of sentence structure, etc… Moreover, at this is more surprising to me, is that students will begin private discussions between 2-3 people and send them out to the entire group. I’ll give them this though… When I discussed the purpose of these groups with the students a few days ago, many students were really surprised that each of those messages go out to 200+ students. A colleague at a different school who uses Google Groups for the same purpose is having even more problems.

I’d prefer not to have to give them Google Groups “guidelines” because, even though it is FOR a CLASS, we don’t want it to feel like it’s for a class. On the other hand, we want to remind them of their audience and the purpose of the groups. It’s a fine line we walk.