Working in Groups

Philosophy 142
August 27, 2008

[Click here to download a PDF version of the "Working in Groups" handout, which is more suitable for printing.]

We encourage people to work in groups both on the homework and on the take-home components of the 2 exams. If you work together with others on a homework or a take-home component, we will add 2 points to your grade on that assignment, provided that your group works in the following way:
  1. There are no more than 4 members of the group.

  2. Each member of the group works individually on the homework for at least one hour prior to the group's working together. (If someone shows up not having done any work on the assignment, that's unacceptable).

  3. The group works together for at least one hour.

  4. Each person completes the work on their own.
To obtain the additional points, list the names of the people in your group on your homework. I will take that as your pledge that you have met the above conditions. Specifically, copying the work of other group members will be regarded as plagiarism, and will be considered a form of academic misconduct. Copying someone's homework is plagiarism and a violation of University policies on academic integrity.
The two points you earn for group work is not likely to make that big a difference in your final grade (it may help in borderline cases). But, we have found that a great many people are helped considerably (intellectually) by talking the material over with other students.
This is not, of course, a requirement; no one will be penalized for this. The grade ranges for the course will not be set on the assumption that people are working in groups (the same goes for all forms of extra-credit that we might offer). So, if you prefer working alone or have a schedule incompatible with engaging in group work, that's OK.