The Myth on November 29, 2016 at 2:39 pm
It’s midterm or finals season and your professor says, “the assignment is a group project.”
What is your first thought? The photo below probably describes how group projects have gone in the past!
Or maybe you start to sympathize with Batman!
Although the research says that teamwork gives opportunities for self-improvement and self-reflection, as graduate students, we usually don’t see the initial benefits in practice. Lani Guinier, a professor at Harvard Law School, says, “by sharing perspectives and differing approaches, classmates can in some cases teach other students more effectively than the professor,” while describing why she assigns group work.
Collaboration is ALL about the process. Collaborative endeavors show students that the process of getting the best answer to a problem is just as important as getting the best answer.
However, it is inefficient! It’s easier for a professor to grade and measure an assignment that has clear quantifiable criteria of an exam, but a grade is not what learning is all about.
Diverse perspectives help teams get to better answers to problems, team members must explain their perspectives, have a different set of schema, and ultimately produce stronger outcomes. The skills of group work then becomes transferable to the workplace and to other situations when working cross culturally. It is ultimately lifelong learning!
That’s not how students generally feel WHILE collaborating with their groups or teams. In the How to Collaborate section of this pressible site, you will be able to go through a set of video tutorials WITH your group, so that you can use the best practices to get to the strongest outcome possible and feel better while doing it!
Love the post? Hate the post? Have other ideas? Please leave a comment below!