Establishing Sub-teams

VIP Teams typically consist of subteams working on different aspects of the project.  When establishing subteams, it is important to base groupings on student interest in the subteam as opposed to self-formed groups.  Otherwise, subteam formation may be based more on social dynamics than on student interests.  In a striking case of this, a social network analysis of VIP peer evaluations showed that students interacted more often with students of other races and ethnicities than their own, and more often with students from majors other than their own.  However, in looking at the team level, we found one team in which students clearly clumped by races in subteams (one race per subteam).  In this case, the instructor asked students (who didn’t know each other) to get into groups, and for each group to decide what they wanted to work on.  As a result, the subteams were based on social dynamics instead of student interests.