Team work: responsibilities, expectations and grading

When you work in a team, you are expected to meet certain responsibilities. Prior to completing the first team assignment you are expected to write down a team contract, which will describe the expected behaviour. Here are some guidelines on what to put in the contract (adapted from this site at UWaterloo):

  1. All group members will be punctual. Meetings will start five minutes after the agreed start time and everyone should be there and ready by then.
  2. We should turn up to all meetings unless it has been agreed beforehand or unless there are unavoidable events such as illness.
  3. All group members will remain in the meeting until (a) all tasks for that meeting are completed, or (b) there is unanimous adjournment.


  1. The group will actively seek a consensus of opinion based on the opinions of every member.
  2. Each member will take turns listening as well as talking, and active listening will be a strategy for all group discussions.
  3. Sexist and racist remarks are not acceptable.
  4. Aggressive and dominating behaviour is not acceptable.
  1. The partners will agree, prior to commencing an assignment, how to divide the responsibilities. 
  2. Since it will be difficult to know upfront how much work each piece of the assignment involves, the partners will first agree to divide the work on the smallest known piece of work. Then, after that piece of work is complete and more information is available on what to do next, the partners will divide the work further. 
  3. The partners agree to meet at least twice a week, even if there is no obvious agenda, to report on their progress and exchange information. 
  4. Each partner is responsible for notifying another partner if they are or if they might fall behind schedule. The notification must be made as early as possible, so as the responsibilities may be re-divided accordingly. 
  5. Upon completion of each group assignment the partners will update the group contract document with the description of the work done by each partner on the assignment. Each partner will go over the contribution of another person to make sure it is accurate.
Conflict resolution
  1. The partners will attempt to resolve any conflicts on their own by meeting and discussing the challenges. Each partner promises to politely and calmly outline the points of frustration while the other partner calmly listens without interruption. The partners must then constructively discuss a way out of the impasse. It is important to remember that few code partnerships are perfect, but most of them work around any difficulties and misunderstandings. 
  2. If the partners are unable to resole the conflict on their own, they will ask their TA to be the arbiter. 
  3. In extreme cases, the partners may as the instructor to arbitrate the conflict.