Here’s a little low-quality Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice for you to get you in the collaborating mood, because that’s where I am.
Apparently at this time in my college career, it is group work time. We all know how business school students always have group projects or science majors have lab partners, but we don’t often think of english majors being a collaborative kind of thing. Turns out it is.
In this class, English 229, we are creating a business proposal, pitch and plan that we will carry out the change something at The University of Michigan (scary….) In my Writing 300 class, in which I am learning how to be a peer tutor, the entire class (all 20 of us) are creating a website together for a conference we are putting on. In my English 449 class, the study of medieval drama, a group of us will be performing a play together. Hello, Gmail inbox, get ready to explode.
The Kolin reading was interesting and certainly applicable rules and advice for working in groups. However, I think what really needs to be discussed is how students work in groups, because it’s not the same as adults.
Firstly, we all have at least 3-4 other classes, often job and extra curricular activities at the university. Secondly, group projects expand the amount of time spent on a project by 5. Not to say that it isn’t important to work in groups or that these exercises don’t teach us anything. But it is to say that, we aren’t doing it your way.
We e-mail back and forth, spitting out thoughts at random trying to piece them together. In Writing 300 we created a Facebook page, resulting in millions of posts that don’t resolve a single issue but are certainly funny.
Similarly, appointing roles I find to be one of the most difficult because no one likes to act like a big shot/expert so no one will say what they are good at or what they want to do. Furthermore, no one even appoints a leader, often there’s an awkward pause where nothing gets done and the biggest worry wart in the group just get it and takes over while other students who don’t care or are too afraid went home.