Questions and Answers




  1. What happens if one learning team member does not contribute?
  2. Original work vs. copied 3rd party content: how much is too much?

What happens if one learning team member does not contribute?

This can be a difficult situation. try to work it out first, but resolve the issue quickly as this course is only five weeks long. The non-performer should be aware that if teams reorganize, he or she may find difficulty being accepted into another team. As in real life, our reputations precede us.

Regarding grading, learning team assignments are graded as a single deliverable. This means that the entire team suffers when one person does not deliver. This is true even if everyone else completes his or her work on time. While this may seem unfair, there are two issues to consider:

  1. The learning team assignments account for only 30% of the final grade; individual assignments and quizzes account for 70% of the final grade.
  2. More importantly, this policy reflects the reality of life in the corporate world. Almost all reasonably sized projects are team efforts. During job interviews, graduates from traditional universities consistently lack the team-based experiences that employers seek.

So, when the team if faced with this situation, the instructor will accept either of the following options:

  • Learning team assignment is turned in on-time (6:00 p.m. night of class) with missing parts (i.e., those elements that were required from the non-performer are absent).

-- or --

  • Or, the assignment is turned in late. This gives the non-performer a chance to submit his  or her contribution, but the entire team receives a 10% late penalty.

Please keep in mind that the instructor does not view late work favorably.

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Original work vs. copied 3rd party content: how much is too much?

When writing papers or other assignments, it is OK to include 3rd party quotes as long as the source is properly referenced in the back of your paper. Limited text copied from 3rd party sources (e.g., Internet) directly into your paper is discouraged even when properly referenced. When the need to do so is  compelling, 3rd party content should be identified as such with references and block text font such as the following:

Here is an example of material that is copied directly into a paper. 

When grading papers (particularly individual assignments), I look for the following:

  1. Original content. The text should come from you, the writer, not a 3rd party source.
  2. Demonstrated understanding. This  only comes from spending time researching and reading prior to writing your paper. There is no shortcut here.
  3. Research with references. This is the basis of items 1 and 2 above.

In summary, read first, then write your own material, then document the references. When you do these three steps, the results will shine through on your papers.

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