First time freshmen, transfer students and students who wish to apply for associate or bachelor’s degree programs.
Students who wish to apply for master’s degree programs or advanced certifications.
Students who wish to apply for our online-only degree programs.
High school students and transfer students who want to enroll in day classes at the Buffalo campus.
Adult learners applying to our undergraduate or graduate degree programs at either our Buffalo or Rochester campuses.
Adult learners applying to our online undergraduate or graduate degree programs.
Working in Collaborative Learning Teams
A: In online courses, learning teams are created by course instructors. It is not uncommon for you to have the same group of people in your learning team each course. If a student is leaving, his/her team may wish to explain its preference - combining with another team or finding a new member to replace the one who left. If a new member is joining the cohort, each team should give thought to how they might accommodate him/her. If a cohort has difficulty resolving its study group problems, Student Services can help by providing an open forum where concerns are addressed.
A: You will want to review the information found in the Guide to Collaborative Learning Teams: Forming and Maintaining Healthy Groups. It contains information and exercises to promote success, including team roles, member responsibilities, and techniques for dealing with conflict. It also includes advice on when and how to involve Student Services to develop and maintain a healthy, functioning group. If you need a copy of this, please contact Student Services.
A: Yes, they do. You should expect teams to change as students join or leave your classes. Because cohorts may be combined for some courses, you will often find new students joining your classes. It is important to remain flexible when approaching group changes and to keep the health of the cohort in mind.
It is also healthy for long-standing groups to reassemble occasionally. Sometimes teams change because students find that another group is a better match for them. Your work schedule may change so that a weeknight meeting is better than a weekend one. Student expectations and performance may change, requiring a shift in groups.
A: A healthy team includes people with a variety of skills and knowledge. Don’t be afraid to include those with backgrounds and experiences far different from yours. Compare your group with a sports team: do you have players for all the positions? Do you have a computer specialist? A writing ace? A math whiz? Putting together a team with a variety of strengths will increase your chances of success.
A: Because we emphasize active, participatory learning, your group activities will provide increased comprehension of concepts. Most of the time, you are first exposed to a new concept in your individual assignments. In your group, through discussion and personal exchanges, you will learn how to use and analyze new concepts, developing broader applications for them. Therefore, it is extremely important for maximum learning that you be prepared and participate in the learning team.
A: No. Although teams of up to five students are permitted, our most successful groups are made up of three or four students. Larger groups may experience difficulty coming to consensus on the issues and may tend to generate more personality conflicts, splintering into an “us” versus “them” mentality. Smaller groups tend to be more flexible, an important quality in this demanding learning environment. When students leave or join a course, smaller groups allow more options for combining within the remaining groups. Most learning team assignments are developed with a group of three or four students in mind.
A: The remaining members of your team will consider the options available and decide their course together. If you were on a team of four, you may wish to continue as a group of three. A group of two may decide to combine with another team or invite another person to join. Your instructor may assist in the reformation of learning teams. Student Services can assist by talking to other teams, talking to the instructor, and arranging meetings between groups.
A: Group learning is an integral part of this program, and we require that all students participate. If you find the adjustment to group learning challenging, Student Services may be able to help you with counseling and practical advice.
A: Troubled teams can affect everyone’s learning; it is important to address problems while they are still small. Deal with issues before they grow to excessive proportions. If you are uncomfortable addressing an issue, contact Student Services for some help and counseling. We ask that each learning team discusses your problem before we intervene, and we will only become involved at your request. However, it is important to remember that we are here if you need us. Discussing sensitive issues in a non-threatening and non-confrontational manner can be tricky; Student Services can help you decide how to approach your particular situation.