Working as a Team
We will form teams of 2 or 3 students. If you know someone in class you’d like to partner with and they agree, that will be fine. Otherwise, I’ll assign you to a partner. Having a partner or two can be very helpful. The animals must be taken care of over weekends, you can trade off with your partner if you cannot be on campus for a particular weekend. By the way, you can’t “make up time” with your animal. That is, if you have to be gone for the weekend and forget to have your partner cover for you, you can’t simply come in late Sunday night and expect to feed them or them give them water. One of the most important things you’ll learn about behavior is the importance of the regularity of schedules. All species are very sensitive to scheduling, and this is especially true if you are trying to train children or rats. Get your animals off its regular feeding schedule and you are going to have problems. Try as best you can to feed them at about the same time each day.
Partners are also great to bounce research ideas off of for your projects. You will work together with you partner on the blog and present weekly progress to the class. For the final project, you and your partner(s) will work as a team, making the apparatus you will use and running the animals in the study. Sometimes partners have handy fathers or boyfriends/girlfriends who can lend a hand in building the apparatus needed for your project. I will evaluate the project as a team effort, the project grade will be shared by each team member. For the final, you and your partner(s) will make up a Power Point slide show and conduct a 15 minute presentation to the class showing the results of your project. The Power Point will be the foundation for presentation the you’ll make at the annual psi chi convention. Presenting at psi chi is manditory to pass the class.
Working effectively with partners is something you must learn. Almost any occupation will require some form of team work. Even medical doctors now essentially work as teams in private practice as do lawyers, counselors, etc. Not all partners are created equal: some are cooperative and hard-working, and some are “social lofer.” Social lofers can be really aggravitating: you feel you are doing all the work and they just tag along. You have to work this out among yourselves. If you have documented proof that your partner is simply doing nothing, then I may step in, but for the most part, learn to deal with this situation yourself. However, things generally run smoothly and you will be glad for a partner and friend to work with this semester.