Saturday, February 14, 2015

Non-Technical Wonderings: Teaching and Groups

I remember in my Undergraduate Programs how much I hated group work. Your group wasn't always in sync with you, and sometimes interpersonal communication became a royal issue. Of course, an instructor was trying to teach you to have the ability to work together, because sometimes (i.e., the real world) you have to work with people that you don't like, or that aren't as capable as you.

When I completed my Graduate Program, I realized how much I loved the group work. Maybe it's because everyone felt they had to be there as an Undergrad, but those in the Graduate program actually wanted to be there. They were, on the whole, willing to put forth the effort to do what was needed to be done. And as a group of working adults, you could communicate with each other, and figure out what you needed to have done in a timely manner.

Now, speaking as an Instructor for an Undergraduate Program, I still want to do Group Work as relevant for the reasons I've mentioned above. But it's difficult to see a group have some failures because of minor shortcomings that get overlooked due to those interpersonal issues. Every single person misses a question because one person didn't do the task accordingly. There's something to be said in group failures and group successes, but, I don't know that I agree with the idea that a group should have issues because one person makes a minor mistake. But to rectify that, every member of the group should be looking over each other for mistakes. Again, that's the idea of group work.

I suppose it's a mixture of having the available resources to accomplish a task, versus making group coordination and communication a part of that task. I suppose I've always appreciated the idea of group work, but in practicality with a time crunch involved, I wonder if it's feasible.

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