That about sums group work up, doesn’t it?
Everyone has had a bad experience with group work sometime in school. Generally, I was the only person who:
- worried about the due date; and
- knew what they were meant to be doing.
Very frustrating – especially if you’re ridiculously organised like me and like getting things done weeks before they are due. I have never been a last-minute kind of person; I’m more of a make-lists-until-you-know-what-you’re-doing-every-second kind of person. So “group” work was always something I dreaded, seeing as though it was more work than it was group.
When I was split between two class options at uni, the decider was whichever one didn’t have group assessment. So you can imagine why, when beginning one of my semester two classes last year, I experienced something not unlike nausea when reading group assessment on the unit outline.
You can also imagine my great relief and disbelief when I was able to group myself with two lovely, hard working, and reliable girls.
Victory! We had a communications page on Blackboard (university website), on Facebook, and we also swapped email addresses and phone numbers. We planned due dates and stuck to them. We communicated really well. We all enjoyed a group work experience for the first time ever! This was all due to the fact that we got along so well together.
However, I’m currently in semester two of my second year, and I just finished my second group assessment piece at university. This one was neither as satisfying as last year’s, nor as displeasing as every other group assessment through primary and high school.
Communication was tricky due to the other 14 members. Yes, 14 members. Even though we had a Facebook group, only approximately five people posted regularly. We reconvened in class two weeks after forming, and my group (five groups of three in one group of 15) were the only one to have finished our contribution; everyone else was “starting [that] afternoon” or apparently didn’t know what they were doing yet, even though we had specifically assigned topics. So it was surprising when everyone came prepared to class on Wednesday just gone, and we presented seamlessly.
Alas, a whole 50 per cent completed for one class!
I think my underlying message today would be to have a little bit of faith in your group… although I still won’t if I have group assessment again.
Until next time