Charter for Group Assignments

Adapted from Miriam Posner’s Group Charter.

This is to be completed before you begin work on your group project

Even if you think everyone in your group is on the same page, it’s still a really good idea to have a discussion about expectations, ways of working, and even pet peeves. Think of a charter as an excuse to have a healthy discussion about intentions before you get started.

Your group must submit a charter in hard copy to me by DATE:

  1. What’s your starting place for this project? Give me a sense of the kinds of inequality and exclusion your group plans to address. What kinds of stories are you interested in? What do you need help finding?
  2. Who will you need to talk to to find this information, or where will you need to do your research? (online, local organization, phone calls to local representatives, the library?)
  3. How will you communicate with each other over the course of the term (e.g., text messaging, email, Google group, Slack, Moodle group, geocached notes in College Library etc.)?
  4. Where will you store our files (e.g., Dropbox, Google Drive etc.)?
  5. When you work on a document collaboratively, how will you ensure that you don’t overwrite each other’s changes?
  6. How often will you meet outside of class? Where will you meet? Do you need a regular meeting time? If you’ll schedule meetings as necessary, what days and times are generally good for people?
  7. When are people planning to be out of town, in exams, or especially busy this term? How can you work around this?
  8. Assign the following roles to project member(s). Please note that no single team member is responsible for any of these roles; rather, the specialist coordinates activity related to this work and assigns tasks to team members.
    1. Project Manager: Pays close attention to schedule and milestones. Alerts the team to possible roadblocks or time-crunches. Ensures that communication among team members is efficient and harmonious. Keeps track of all project documentation. Takes notes at meetings. Communicates team needs (for example, additional training on a tool) to the professor.
    2. Visual Specialist: Oversees the project’s maps and any pictures that will accompany the podcast. Takes responsibility for mapping software use or manual design of map.
    3. Story Writer: Scripts and shapes the narrative for the podcast. Takes responsibility for verbal content.
    4. Fact Checker and Research Director: Delegates research tasks and makes sure final narrative is accurate and all information is cited.
    5. Audio Specialist: Delegates recording tasks, takes responsibility for audio software and recording room scheduling. Edits document.
  9. Do all decisions need to be unanimous, or is “majority-rules” OK?
  10. How will you prevent meetings from going off-track?
  11. What are group members’ pet peeves from previous collaborations? How will you avoid these?
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