A1: Preparing for a Group Project#

Assignment Overview#

The beginning of any group project typically involves setting some basic ground rules to ensure that all team members are on the same page. A good place to start is with a discussion of the tools you will use (e.g., software, physical media) and the expectations for work and communication you will have for one another. So for your first assignment you will be required to establish a digital workspace and create a Communication Covenant.

Assignment Details#

Part 1#

For part 1, you will create a shared space to store the content generated over the course of your project. In this class, we will be using Google Drive, a cloud-based file sharing tool that is provided to all faculty and students for free by the University. To prepare for the work we will complete this quarter, each team will be required to create their workspace within the course Google Drive.

For this assignment each team will create a directory in the class Google Drive to store and work on all assignments. The directory name should match the team name of your group. Within this directory you will create two (and only two) sub-directories, stage and final:

- stage
- final

The stage directory is where all working files that your team generates should be stored. This includes documents, spreadsheets, diagrams, and other assets.

The final directory is where you will place completed files to be graded. This means that you will be required to give the course instructors edit permissions to this directory and all materials placed within it. You can find email addresses for the instructors in the syllabus on our Canvas course page.

Edit permissions will allow us to leave comments directly on your work as well as provide you will a space to leave follow up comments.


Since part 1 is largely designed to get everyone organized and familiar with the assignment submission process, the requirements are fairly simple. Nevertheless, to receive credit for this assignment, adhere to the following steps closely:

  1. Create the required directory structure described above. It doesn’t matter who does completes this task, but you should all confirm that it has been completed properly.

  2. Create a new document in the stage directory and name it TEAMNAME-assignment-1.

  3. Edit TEAMNAME-assignment-1 by adding a title with the name of your team and the names and email addresses of all team members. Every team member should add their information. This is how we will test the revision history while grading, so be attentive to this step!

  4. When ready, move or copy the TEAMNAME-assignment-1 document to the final directory. Once in place, assign edit permissions to the course instructors.


You must do all of your work this quarter using the programs made available through Google Drive. The majority of your work will be in the form of documents and presentations. This means you will rely on Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets to complete your work. We will be using the revision history feature of these programs to assess participation on an individual level. Therefore, you must be sure to take an active role in the editing process for the materials your team creates.

Part 2#

Now that you have a place to store and collaborate on materials your team will produce, it’s time to lay some ground rules. At the heart of every successfull group project is good communication. One of the most effective mechanisms for ensuring good group communication is through a Communication Covenant.

A Communication Covenant is an agreement that every member of a team makes about communicating. Formal documentation helps to ensure that everyone understands group expectations as well as provides a source of evidence that team members can reference when communication breaks down.


For this assignment each team member will create a Communication Covenant document. To determine the rules for your covenant, you will want to first meet as a group to discuss expectations. Once you are all agreed on how you will communicate, answer the following prompts according to the rules you have discussed:

  1. Promising to communicate regularly (even when the news is bad).

  2. Promising to answer your email X times per day.

  3. Agreeing that you will be using Google Drive for file management.

  4. Specifying when and where your meetings will occur (min. 1-2 times per week).

  5. Promising to notify teammates if you are unable to make a meeting.

  6. Agreeing to reasonable punishments if a team member is late or misses a meeting without notifying everyone.

  7. Promising to volunteer to do things and to do them well and on time.

You are free to modify these prompts to suit the communication strategies that your team has agreed upon, however, all seven must remain and hold to their original intent.

Once completed, each team member will place the covenant in their own Google Doc with the following file name (replace YOURNAME with your full name!):


The document must also be signed. To officially sign your Communication Covenant, place your full name and UCI email address on the last line of the document.By signing, you are indicating that you have read and agree to the covenant.

You are free to prepare the source for this document as a group in the stage directory and then create your signed document directly in the final directory. Since each team member is required to submit their own covenant, we will not be checking the revision history for participation on this part of the assignment.


When your team document is ready and all signed communication covenants are in place, submit a direct link to your Google Drive directory through the Assignment 1 page on Canvas as a team.

Ensure that all course staff have been added as members of your group directory and have edit permissions on your documents.


This assignment is worth 1 pt or 1 percent of your total grade. You must complete all requirements for this assignment accurately and on time to receive credit. No partial credit will given. Credit will be assigned to you as a group but removed on an individual basis for team members who do not complete part 2.