Reframing Group Work
Group projects get a bad rap. I’ve listened to classmates talk about group work as if it’s the bane of their existence. Sometimes it seems that one or two people in the group take on the brunt of the work while the rest seem to lack the desire to contribute. Group work can be time-consuming and difficult but it is inevitably a component of any university program. So how is it possible to make group work more appealing and less of a burden?
In her article Group Work and Other Pain, Kathryn Woodcock explains that group work is more than an attempt by professors to minimize the number of term papers they have to grade. When group work is used intentionally as a pedagogical tool it can enable students to collaborate and learn from the knowledge of their colleagues, gain peer feedback, and learn how to work with others.
Woodcock suggests that it is important for group members not to see the project as a sum of individual parts but a process completed by the group as a whole. Every student has had different life experiences and each has their own way of learning. While one student in the group appears to be the most intelligent in the traditional sense, another student may have strengths that can contribute to the success of the group. If students are able to shift their perception of group work to that of a collaborative process they may be more effective.
One key to a successful group project is making sure that every member is on the same page. The group may decide to establish some group guidelines at the beginning of the process. These are to be referred to as the deadline approaches and when things become stressful. Another way to make sure that all group members are on the same page is to create an outline for the project. Homework Help Canada offers support with essay and thesis outlines. Having an outline will allow everyone in the group to refer back to the initial plan and keep on track throughout the process.
Professors often anticipate a professional presentation as a component of a group project. Power point presentations have become an expectation in many classrooms. Developing effective power point presentations can be a time consuming process that can take away from other portions of the group work. Homework Help Canada can develop any kind of power point presentation for your group work project.
Overall group work can be a challenging but worthwhile experience. Students should shift their perspective of group work in order to embrace a different type of learning activity. Drawing on available resources such as those offered by Homework Help Canada can assist students to have a dynamic and successful group experience.
Woodcock, K. (n.d.). Thoughts on groupwork. Retrieved August 31, 2015. http://www.ryerson.ca/woodcock/students/groupwork/