Group work

“Was the group submission a worthwhile idea? Do you think your group functioned well in this respect?”; “Were you satisfied with the process of building your individual cultural case study from within a group structure? Would you change anything?”

It was useful to brainstorm ideas as a group”; “The freedom associated with the group assignment component complimented the focused learning of the individual task”; “Sharing a general topic meant that we could consult each other on our individual case studies for advice on the content and presentation”; “It was a pretty easy experience in terms of choosing the topic and getting formed into groups”; “I was most satisfied by the fact that our group took a broader social phenomenon and compared at how it was understood in different nation states- I think this should be the example all groups should follow”; “Meant we had to engage with a broad range of ideas including our own, and the comparison of similar forces understood through the lenses of different nations was a worthwhile exercise”. But: “I think the group aspect was somewhat redundant. Perhaps if the assignment was restructured the group aspect would be more relevant”; “the 500 words was the only things we needed to do as a group and it felt it either needed to be longer or something else needed to be included for it to be worthwhile as a group assignment”;“I’d like a little bit more guidance on the presentation format for the assignment. I think an online platform would be best, in some way developing our ICT skills”; “the only thing we had to do as a group was the 500 words [group summary] and that seemed a little pointless as it was so short”; “I think in future a longer assignment would work well as an alternative”; “the purpose of the group component could have been a little more clear … we didn’t really have an objective”; “the whole assignment could typically have been a combined presentation with each person focusing on one aspect of the topic within their major country”.

The results for the group work component are pretty good overall, but still mixed and thus the structure and goals need to be much clearer, so too objectives. Even the doubtful comments suggest a way forward for next year. Perhaps I need to consider a combined project with each student in groups of three contributing a different aspect, instead of individual assignments around a common theme with one small group component. It would mean less marking for tutor, but some students do not like too many marks to be riding on group work (fear of loafers).

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