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With or Against "Groups in Class"?Do you think that group-work is better than...

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justaquestion | Student, Undergraduate

Posted November 10, 2011 at 4:17 AM via web

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With or Against "Groups in Class"?

Do you think that group-work is better than individuals work? Answer this by taking into consideration the following:(group members, co-operation and getting along together, the out come "individuals or group"), and finally in terms of grading --> do you think it is fair to grade them as a group or as individuals?

 

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted November 10, 2011 at 5:15 AM (Answer #2)

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The grading of the group versus the grading of individuals is always a thorny question.  I have finally settled on a compromise position of a two-part grade, half for individual effort and half for the group effort.  I do think that students need to learn to how to function effectively in groups because in the world of work, a team or a department can be judged this way. If it's sink or swim for your group, it is of no use for you to complain about the slackers. It's up to you to get the job done.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 10, 2011 at 7:06 AM (Answer #3)

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My problem with the idea that group work gets you ready for the workplace is that you're not likely to, in the workplace, be put in a group where you're competent and everyone else is incompetent and/or lazy.  At work, everyone will be fairly motivated to get it right because their job depends on it.  At school, not so much.  So I do not like the idea of group work and I try to avoid it.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 10, 2011 at 10:42 AM (Answer #4)

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I, too, dislike group work in most classes for the same reasons listed in the above posts. Another problem not mentioned is that much of the time is wasted in gossip, horseplay and arguing--not exactly a wise use of class time. I have had several classes, however, where ALL of the kids were motivated and there were few problems concerning group members not doing their fair share of the work. But for the most part, I limit group projects to only a couple per year.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 10, 2011 at 12:23 PM (Answer #5)

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I use a lot of group work in my classes, but never for major assessments.  I like the social interaction of the group dynamics and that in a smaller group, even the shyer students can have the confidence to contribute. To keep groups on task there is usually a small group--then report to the whole component to the task. If I walk around eavesdropping, I can usually curtail the wasted time problem.  I also don't have the groups work for more than 15-20 minutes at a time.  There is a very focused task and a limited amount of time to complete it.

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justaquestion | Student, Undergraduate

Posted November 10, 2011 at 7:28 PM (Answer #6)

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First of all thank you all for your interpretations, it helped me get the teacher’s point of view, now here is my point of view:

As a student I always face couple of problems while working with groups, I am not a social person thus I can’t choose the group even if I had the option and that is one of the major problems for me, another thing is that I tend to put a lot of effort into the work which some take for granted and they do nothing in terms of the work and thus my grade is affected because “I didn’t handle the group well” but you see I can’t drag them to do the work when they are not motivated and a lot of students in the university don’t care about the grade as long as they “Pass” the subject and so am always stuck with a bunch of lazy students who don’t want to do anything and thus I do all the work and end up effected by their grade and I hate group work because I have never been with the right group…

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 10, 2011 at 11:48 PM (Answer #7)

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You have lived and described well one of the distinctions between using group work in a college setting and using it in a K-12 classroom. It's much easier for teachers to wander around the classroom and monitor activity (or lack thereof) at the lower level! I found that group work was frequently a positive thing for my students in spite of the socialization that definitely happened along with the academic part. Requiring some sort of "report out" or accounting of work accomplished to the whole group at the end of class tended to help with focus, as did having a group product that had to be handed in with signatures of all group members. I usually didn't grade such products, but had the accountability factor.

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 11, 2011 at 12:17 AM (Answer #8)

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Well, I'm a science instructor, and science is by nature a shared learning type of enterprise. My students do labs and research work in groups and other work individually. One thing I have noticed, and that you may want to think about, is that the groups tend to function much better if there is one "take-charge" person in the group. Those who have good leadership skills usually function as a project manager, setting the tone right away by going over the task with the rest of the group and making sure everyone grasps the mission and the time line, breaking the task into sections, and then clearly asking each member what sections he or she is going to take responsibility for. (This works much better than assigning tasks, psychologically.) The leader then does periodic check-ins or redirects other group members. Yes, the leader is doing more work than the rest, but is doing considerably less work than if he or she were doing the whole job alone, as seems to be happening to you.

Before you say you can't do that, consider this: leadership skills are learned, and are an incredibly valuable commodity in the real world. If you come out of college having learned only leadership skills and nothing else, college will have been worthwhile and will pay off in the job market. On the other hand, without such skills you can be the smartest and most knowledgeable person in the whole company, and still never advance to a better position. You do not have to be a "social person" to be a leader; sometimes, the best leaders are actually somewhat antisocial, because they have a thicker skin and don't really care if the others in the group think they are being pushy or whatever; they are not there to make friends, only to get the job done.

From the tone of your question, you sound like a responsible person who cares about doing well. Although it may go against your grain to function as a project manager, I would suggest you try it. You can't change the assignments or the grouping, but you can change your approach to the work.

Here are a few links to articles about project management and the basic skill set and approach:

Six essential project management skills

Seven key skills of a project manager

Ten skills for project management success

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 11, 2011 at 1:27 AM (Answer #9)

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My experience has been quite similar to that of Post # 4. Group work almost always devolves into gossip, killing time, socializing, etc. I have had very limited success with it, and have only used it on those occasions when I was being evaluated. It seems sad that group work is the politically correct way to educate out students, as determined by those who are not in the classroom every day. The issue of how to grade the work is another issue entirely. It has been far easier for me to avoid that problem by insisting that students work individually. Certainly they will be required to work together in the work place; but I seriously doubt they will all be performing the same task in tandem.

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted November 11, 2011 at 4:11 AM (Answer #10)

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Group work can be beneficial to students and their learning process, but it must also be structured and developed with an end goal in mind.  Students are likely to take the easiest route if it's available to them. Can we blame them? Most adults would too.

Group work for me always has a group grade and an individual grade.  Each task given to the group must be structured in a way the the groups feel they have to work together to achieve success and not so that one person most do all the work while everyone else chews the fat and smiles behind them during the presentation. The biggest problem with group work is when teachers separate kids into groups without explaining expectations.  Too often do we just expect kids to know what to do.  When this happens, we can't be upset when they pawn the work off on the willing kid. However, by giving them clear goals, roles, and instructions, we can help students learn to work together to solve problems and to learn from one another.  Usually, this is our end result anyways, so we must make sure we're giving them the steps to achieve this.  We wouldn't just give them a piece of paper and a pencil and expect them to instantly know how to write an essay.

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justaquestion | Student, Undergraduate

Posted November 11, 2011 at 5:45 AM (Answer #11)

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You have lived and described well one of the distinctions between using group work in a college setting and using it in a K-12 classroom. It's much easier for teachers to wander around the classroom and monitor activity (or lack thereof) at the lower level! I found that group work was frequently a positive thing for my students in spite of the socialization that definitely happened along with the academic part. Requiring some sort of "report out" or accounting of work accomplished to the whole group at the end of class tended to help with focus, as did having a group product that had to be handed in with signatures of all group members. I usually didn't grade such products, but had the accountability factor.

I agree with you on the part about the "class room" that it is easier to control them and all, you see in university most students don’t care for presentations and the “extra points” assignments I care for those because I care for every mark but am always stuck with people who would rather talk about what year am I and what is my major and what courses am taking this semester rather than the actual assignment… and the problem is I tend to seek perfection in what I do and I have noticed nobody has that issue, most students care about passing and just getting the work done because “they have to” and that is where I actually want to cry… I would rather work on a full novel all by myself and get it all right than work on a short story with a bunch of lazy students who don’t put much effort in what they do. and the problem with our professors is that they tend to grade the groups as a whole more than the individual effort....

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justaquestion | Student, Undergraduate

Posted November 11, 2011 at 5:51 AM (Answer #12)

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Well, I'm a science instructor, and science is by nature a shared learning type of enterprise. My students do labs and research work in groups and other work individually. One thing I have noticed, and that you may want to think about, is that the groups tend to function much better if there is one "take-charge" person in the group. Those who have good leadership skills usually function as a project manager, setting the tone right away by going over the task with the rest of the group and making sure everyone grasps the mission and the time line, breaking the task into sections, and then clearly asking each member what sections he or she is going to take responsibility for. (This works much better than assigning tasks, psychologically.) The leader then does periodic check-ins or redirects other group members. Yes, the leader is doing more work than the rest, but is doing considerably less work than if he or she were doing the whole job alone, as seems to be happening to you.

Before you say you can't do that, consider this: leadership skills are learned, and are an incredibly valuable commodity in the real world. If you come out of college having learned only leadership skills and nothing else, college will have been worthwhile and will pay off in the job market. On the other hand, without such skills you can be the smartest and most knowledgeable person in the whole company, and still never advance to a better position. You do not have to be a "social person" to be a leader; sometimes, the best leaders are actually somewhat antisocial, because they have a thicker skin and don't really care if the others in the group think they are being pushy or whatever; they are not there to make friends, only to get the job done.

From the tone of your question, you sound like a responsible person who cares about doing well. Although it may go against your grain to function as a project manager, I would suggest you try it. You can't change the assignments or the grouping, but you can change your approach to the work.

Here are a few links to articles about project management and the basic skill set and approach:

Six essential project management skills

Seven key skills of a project manager

Ten skills for project management success

I study English Language and Literature and the problem is that the major itself can be figured out individually, like I would understand if I was studying science that I have to work with others because it makes sense… but I don’t understand why I have to give a presentation with other people about a novel for example… I study in Jordan and as an Arab my native tongue is Arabic but my English is really good and I always work on improving and all but that is not the case with the students we have… some tend to read their presentation, others have a really low voice, and the ones who really annoy me are those who have no idea what they are going to present or skip the class of the presentation and thus the whole group is punished for it… a lot of teachers don’t understand how hard it is to work with other students because lots of students are not motivated! And other don’t care what mark they get as long as they don’t “flunk” the course!

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salimj | College Teacher

Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM (Answer #13)

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To certain extent group work is essencial in class rooms but it has to be monitered. These days many of the students can work individualy but when it come to collective work they fail. Hence i am of the opinion that group work has to be given in class rooms.

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wanderista | Student, Grade 11

Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:10 PM (Answer #14)

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As a student, I cannot be more against group work (collaborative learning) in core classes (such as English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities). It is unfair for the student's who really aspire to get an A, or a high mark due to the fact that there are some members of their group who are too lazy to do anything worthwhile. Likewise, it can put pressure on the better student's to do everyone else's work, making marks biased and extremely unfair. English, Maths, Science and Humanities are subjects that should not require group work, and I only support individual work for anything that receives a mark/ is added to the final end of year report card.

But I am not completely against group work in subjects that are not in the 'cores' range. Subjects like technology, languages other than English, Art, Music, Sport and construction should include some group work, but within reasonable limit, and only in the lower years of education - not when it counts. It, again may be frustrating and stressful for the students who do want to do well, but also teaches the fundamental life skills of working as a group.

All in all, I am completely against collaborative learning in higher education (9-12) and in core subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities). However, group work may be okay in other subjects in the lower years of education, such as art or sport.

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 1, 2011 at 6:49 AM (Answer #15)

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After a life-long career of teaching on the college level, I have discovered that the real problem is grading itself, and the emphasis on occupational training.  I am a believer in what my friends and I call IFNIS -- Institute For Non-Institutional Study -- This idea confronts a lot of the problems of traditional higher education -- the teaching toward a test; the ridiculous ratio of student tuition to teacher salary (in a Freshman class of 20 people, two pay the teacher's salary); the failure to teach how to think, abstract, interpolate and extrapolate, etc.; the lack of interdisciplinary study; the false layering of freshmen, sophmores, and so on; the needless capital expenses; the topheavy administration; etc., etc.  The Internet, and frankly, sites like eNotes, would make IFNIS possible.  All we need is a body of interested people to design it.  Write to me if you are one of them. 

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zerokloppy | Student, College Freshman

Posted December 4, 2011 at 12:42 PM (Answer #16)

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Group work is troublesome, in my opinion.

In groups where students get to choose their group members, there are often those who get left out or picked last.  This has a negative effect on student self-confidence.

There are also those who slack off and don't do enough work.  When I was in high school, it always infuriated me when I received a poor mark due to a partner or group member's lack of participation and effort.  Marks are a metric by which a student's academic performance is measured, right?  Then why should it be allowed to suffer because of another person's negligence?

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irha-nadeem | TA , Grade 9

Posted December 4, 2011 at 10:11 PM (Answer #17)

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Group discussion or teaam work is always good for something that needs ideas. You are making a presentation or wriring upon a topic, especially an argumentative topic, then, teamwork is better. Because, every one has a unique, a differene idea. It is considered the best if a lot of ideas both in favour and opposite of the topic are included in an essay or a presentation. so, team work is preferrable.

But , teamwork does not let a student show the teacher his/ her abilities. Individual work can show the teacher a student's ability, his vision, his mind and his level of thinking.

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loraaa | Student

Posted December 5, 2011 at 12:57 AM (Answer #18)

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Thank you for this wonderful question ...
But I in fact do not support student groups because there are some students do not like group work, and I support only if it was with my closest friends.

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just-s | Student, Grade 11

Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:24 AM (Answer #19)

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i think that group work is needed for certain class work and not all. the major assessments is usualy advised to be done alone so you as the teacher know that the work that comes in is purely from the student and no help given, but in groups,only the bright students give their best and the rest of the group relaxes and uses that time for private discussions. group work is good also to increase the interaction amongst the learners but provided the learners play their part and work together as a group with all doing their fair share of work and working smoothly without fighting!!!

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iheartpotatoes | Student

Posted December 6, 2011 at 11:10 PM (Answer #20)

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I don't really care as long as I get my potatoes :)

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agramatikas | Student, Undergraduate

Posted December 7, 2011 at 2:00 AM (Answer #21)

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As a current MBA student, working full time, going to class at night, while trying to balance school work and life--throwing in additional work to commit to outside of the classroom can be daunting. In graduate school, group work is synonymous with the program. I believe group work is essential in preparing yourself for management--communication, organization, responsibility, and learning to be a team player are all contributing elements.

Initially, it was really tough to find a balance and stay organized. One day, a member of my group suggested we all sign up for a online collaboration program called Group Table. Willing to try anything, we signed up. Immediately, we recognized the benefits of having all of our group projects organized in one area. We were able to upload/revise documents/powerpoints, assing tasks, create a calendar with deadlines, and best of all, live chat. The live chat allowed us to communicate virtually, while simultaneously addressing what needed attention.

Despite the negative conotation group projects usually has, they are essential to growing as a professional. If you know how to utilize the resources around you, then you can overcome the many negatives. (www.grouptable.com)

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loraaa | Student

Posted December 7, 2011 at 10:06 AM (Answer #22)

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This topic is very fantastic ... thank his subject, and all those who participated it.
I have benefited a lot from your views.

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jsj15 | Student, Grade 10

Posted December 8, 2011 at 6:13 AM (Answer #23)

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As a high school student, I really dislike group work. At school, almost all of our teachers believe that group work leads to social interaction and they always assign groups. Each time, there is only one person in each group that will do all the work. I think it's unfair that the group members who contribute nothing are given the same mark as the person who did everything. Isn't that the same as giving someone credit for someone else's work? Even if a teacher walks around checking up on groups, most of the work gets done outside the classroom and even if there is peer evaluation, someone can never really give another member a bad mark because they know the member outside of class.

On the other hand, working alone teaches responsibility and I think it's the only fair way in assignments or assessments. I mean, we don't do tests as a group- projects should be done alone for the same reason.

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astiluv | Student, Undergraduate

Posted December 10, 2011 at 1:36 AM (Answer #24)

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As a student i also agree with post no 4 who said "Another problem not mentioned is that much of the time is wasted in gossip, horseplay and arguing--not exactly a wise use of class time. "

Usually only 1 or 2 group member who do the task

Astiluv

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angelicita | Student, Grade 9

Posted December 10, 2011 at 7:38 AM (Answer #25)

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I think that students should in groups. but these froups should vary with responsible people and with not so responsible for they can level each other.

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dmcgillem | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted December 11, 2011 at 12:53 AM (Answer #26)

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Well, I'm a science instructor, and science is by nature a shared learning type of enterprise. My students do labs and research work in groups and other work individually. One thing I have noticed, and that you may want to think about, is that the groups tend to function much better if there is one "take-charge" person in the group. Those who have good leadership skills usually function as a project manager, setting the tone right away by going over the task with the rest of the group and making sure everyone grasps the mission and the time line, breaking the task into sections, and then clearly asking each member what sections he or she is going to take responsibility for. (This works much better than assigning tasks, psychologically.) The leader then does periodic check-ins or redirects other group members. Yes, the leader is doing more work than the rest, but is doing considerably less work than if he or she were doing the whole job alone, as seems to be happening to you.

Before you say you can't do that, consider this: leadership skills are learned, and are an incredibly valuable commodity in the real world. If you come out of college having learned only leadership skills and nothing else, college will have been worthwhile and will pay off in the job market. On the other hand, without such skills you can be the smartest and most knowledgeable person in the whole company, and still never advance to a better position. You do not have to be a "social person" to be a leader; sometimes, the best leaders are actually somewhat antisocial, because they have a thicker skin and don't really care if the others in the group think they are being pushy or whatever; they are not there to make friends, only to get the job done.

From the tone of your question, you sound like a responsible person who cares about doing well. Although it may go against your grain to function as a project manager, I would suggest you try it. You can't change the assignments or the grouping, but you can change your approach to the work.

Here are a few links to articles about project management and the basic skill set and approach:

Six essential project management skills

Seven key skills of a project manager

Ten skills for project management success

I study English Language and Literature and the problem is that the major itself can be figured out individually, like I would understand if I was studying science that I have to work with others because it makes sense… but I don’t understand why I have to give a presentation with other people about a novel for example… I study in Jordan and as an Arab my native tongue is Arabic but my English is really good and I always work on improving and all but that is not the case with the students we have… some tend to read their presentation, others have a really low voice, and the ones who really annoy me are those who have no idea what they are going to present or skip the class of the presentation and thus the whole group is punished for it… a lot of teachers don’t understand how hard it is to work with other students because lots of students are not motivated! And other don’t care what mark they get as long as they don’t “flunk” the course!

 Literature is a wonderful real-life area with which to experience group interactions. Look at all the book clubs that have arisen following Ophrah's lead on her talk show!  Group work doesn't, I feel, have to culminate with a project, sometimes it is the process itself that you, as an educator, can evaluate.  With practice and after educating yourself, you can set up a system as I have done in my own classroom of using Reader's Workshop to have students function in a group setting.  While they are not collaborating on a project (I shun end-of-novel projects unless it is truly something enriching.  Creating a diaorama about a novel isn't, to me, anything more than a method of simply regurgitating information - something I feel our educational system has too much of already.), they are communicating with others with a common goal.  They are learning to listen to others, ask and answer questions, go back to the book to "prove" their points, take turns, pulling all members in to contribute, agree to disagree in some cases, and at the same time apply the lessons we've had for interacting with and analyzing literature.

I hated group work as a student through my graduation from high school and on into college for the reasons already well-articulated, but this process I've mentioned above really is a fit in my classroom and something that I wish my own teachers would have used.

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rinide | Student, Undergraduate

Posted December 13, 2011 at 6:42 PM (Answer #27)

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First of all thank you all for your interpretations, it helped me get the teacher’s point of view, now here is my point of view:

As a student I always face couple of problems while working with groups, I am not a social person thus I can’t choose the group even if I had the option and that is one of the major problems for me, another thing is that I tend to put a lot of effort into the work which some take for granted and they do nothing in terms of the work and thus my grade is affected because “I didn’t handle the group well” but you see I can’t drag them to do the work when they are not motivated and a lot of students in the university don’t care about the grade as long as they “Pass” the subject and so am always stuck with a bunch of lazy students who don’t want to do anything and thus I do all the work and end up effected by their grade and I hate group work because I have never been with the right group…

True. Even I hold the same opinion as you do. Its a disadvantege for you when you have to be a part of a lazy uninterested group of people. Most of them shirk and lay their responsibities on the only sincere student. This doesn't allow one to put in all the effort that one wants to and also the result you get for it is divided, which is unfair. Moreover, there are ample chances of differences of opinions which leads to a deadlock in the work.

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danielle615 | Student, Grade 10

Posted December 15, 2011 at 6:01 AM (Answer #28)

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I am a student and a very hard worker. When group work comes up I cringe. I am known as the "nice" girl and can't say no to anyone... I am also top of my class and first pick for anything like these assignments. I find it completely unfair because I do EVERYTHING and someone shares MY credit. The teachers don't care as long as the project is done. I recommend group projects for little kids but not High School or College because there is always one lazy kid in a group that makes everyone else do their work. Probably not the answer you want to hear but even in group projects that have individual grades some kid isn't going to do their part and the whole project will be messed up.

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mojoc | Student

Posted December 17, 2011 at 2:18 PM (Answer #29)

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According to justaquestion group work is better than alon. But there are some condition, when everyone of the group is hardly responsible their work. But if someone iresponsible then group work could not be done as well. I am a lab instructor, sometimes I saw that group members are like to gossip rather than their work.

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carbonlenses | College Teacher

Posted December 22, 2011 at 6:42 PM (Answer #30)

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Scenario: The group work task has been set and you are keen to assist the groups where
required, though you are conscious of allowing the students to work through the issues
themselves. As you move around the groups during an in-class session you become aware
that some groups appear uncomfortable with your presence and the group discussion
dries up and you feel that perhaps you are impeding discussion or debate or their ability
to deal with group issues. When the conversation ceases someone in the group asks a
question related to another section of the course. You feel that this is so the group can
have something to say and to distract you from the group work task.

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rayjoseph78 | Student, Undergraduate

Posted December 26, 2011 at 9:48 AM (Answer #31)

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I don't like groups in class. In this way students starts relying on other students for very easy tasks.

 

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jokes

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azxdfwer

Posted December 26, 2011 at 8:35 PM (Answer #32)

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Maybe you could do it this way:

(the way my high school teachers/ profs did it :) )

Grade them as a group, but have that mark count as only twenty/ thirty percent of their grade. The rest of their grade would be dependent on their contribution to the group, interaction within the group, effort, and use of time.

 

This way they'll be forced to interact to save their grade (if they care). If they don't, well, then that wouldn't affect the rest of the group.

In human resource management they call this cultural pressure: they will be held accountable even more through their peers than to their supervisors.

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amerie | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 27, 2011 at 11:25 AM (Answer #33)

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Both as a teacher and a student, group work is problematic.  I think it is absolutely unfair to assign a group grade for a project, when I know that the group did not contribute equally to the work presented.  One solution I have to this problem is making them present "as a group", but having each student graded individually on their piece of the presentation.  That way, I know who really researched and understands the information.  As a student, I am always the one who does everything; that is the only real way I have of knowing that the work is done and it is up to my high expectations.  Obviously, this is not real "group" work,  because one person has taken over the assignment for the rest of the group.  That's what leaders do, but that means the rest of the group may not have done any of the the ground work for the assignment.  Certain students just have a propensity for taking over socially, and it may not be the most qualified or intelligent or creative of the group.  While I use group work all the time in my classroom, grades are never assigned as a group - always on an individual basis.  As an aside, I find it's very helpful to have students do these things in class and simply observe them and take notes to share with the group at the completion of the assignment.

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adrienne77 | Student, Undergraduate

Posted December 30, 2011 at 12:25 AM (Answer #34)

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Group work is fantastic in the classroom... It allows (sometimes forces) students to practice skills that are integral in our lives as humans. I do think however that they should be solely individual grades. I have done a lot of group projects in school, and there is, a large percentage of the time, at least one member that doesn't pull their weight for one reason or another. In middle school and high school I was the "willing kid" that pirateteacher mentioned in post 10. But quite frankly, I could handle doing it all back then and I really didn't mind. However, as we all know, the farther you go, the larger the projects, and the more life tends to try to interfere. I sometimes have a hard enough time getting the time to do the best I can on my work.

Pulling together picking up the slack and getting it done is beautiful when it works, but in my experience that is one member isn't going to get their's done, it is last minute before the rest of the group knows. It usually all comes down to a lack of communication; but kids are kids and they all go through those phases. If they don't want to work with someone they would rather get a zero on a "stupid assignment" than do something they don't want to. I'm certainly not saying it is right or good, it is a fact though. Hopefully in college everyone has moved passed that refusal, but life happens. I don't think every member's grade should suffer for the actions (or in-actions) of the other members.

 

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valie77 | Student, Undergraduate

Posted December 30, 2011 at 8:31 PM (Answer #35)

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i have to say that in my class our history teacher always makes us work in groups and it is mayham.

the slower workers panick and stress because they have to try and keep up with the faster kids who are bored and annoyed because they have to wait for the slower children.

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royality | Student, Grade 11

Posted December 31, 2011 at 1:34 AM (Answer #36)

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Personally I love group work because it gives an opertunity to meet new people and learn to work with others but there's always that one kid who refuses to do anything. I think if working in a group students should be graded individualy for participation and graded as a group for out come of the project the students came together with.

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mmmcycle15 | Student, Grade 11

Posted January 2, 2012 at 5:27 AM (Answer #37)

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The grading of the group versus the grading of individuals is always a thorny question.  I have finally settled on a compromise position of a two-part grade, half for individual effort and half for the group effort.  I do think that students need to learn to how to function effectively in groups because in the world of work, a team or a department can be judged this way. If it's sink or swim for your group, it is of no use for you to complain about the slackers. It's up to you to get the job done.

I think the 2 part grade is a phenomenal way to grade. Groups help students who struggle and zoning out get more involved in the material they are learning .

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bhawanipur | College Teacher

Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:17 AM (Answer #38)

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I shall post here one of my experience. While teacging English grammar, I choose group discussion. Students, specially in my college which is situated in the most rural area, are very poor in grammar and composition. First I teach them the lesson on any topic and then I give some questions to the students to discuss and write an answer acceptable to all. Later on I ask them why have they written this answer. It worked nicely to get their view cleared.

However, in other subjects or project also probably this would work better. I think it gives a student to learn how to manage and take on discussion and then to come to a decision. This process very effective even awakening unity among students and becoming acquinted with various remedies to a problem that come and finally to arise in one.

In respect of grading also, I feel they should be graded in a group rather than individually. Then I think they are inspired and become ready to undertake any discussion or project in group. If we grade them individually, some of them will be despaired. He or she might think thay they could have done better individually. Also, it will despair them to work in group.

Moreover, there are some students who find it troubleshooting to work in a group because of their lack of expression, shyness ect. They should also be encouraged otherwise they will lack the opportunity to grab in the group.

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jhonblight101 | Student

Posted January 2, 2012 at 10:21 PM (Answer #39)

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I do agree about how beneficial to cooperate with group work.

Some of comment here are really have good thoughts.

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lokriti

Posted January 3, 2012 at 12:53 AM (Answer #40)

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With or Against "Groups in Class"?

Do you think that group-work is better than individuals work? Answer this by taking into consideration the following:(group members, co-operation and getting along together, the out come "individuals or group"), and finally in terms of grading --> do you think it is fair to grade them as a group or as individuals?

 

Personally I think it's a good idea but if only we can do it with group of male and an other one with female only.Like that everybody can focus well.

Lokriti

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rebelnabil | Student, Undergraduate

Posted January 3, 2012 at 3:44 AM (Answer #41)

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group working in class is one of the majar thing i have face in all my life, as experience i have benefits and i still do the same. thanks to that i have the courage to continue my studies tell now because the groups helps me to fill my weakness and empty gaps that i have in my life,.

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elisa96 | Student, Grade 10

Posted January 7, 2012 at 7:15 AM (Answer #43)

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Group work is best because it gives a chance to be able to work together. if you where to give a deadkine for every part of the project it will increase productivity. also have each child write wgat they did and individual mark them

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lei73 | Student

Posted January 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM (Answer #44)

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It depends, how well the students are more effective.

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simoncat | High School Teacher

Posted January 8, 2012 at 12:29 AM (Answer #45)

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I find that group work has to be heavily regulated for it to be effective. There needs to be defined boundaries and time limits to prevent the time from simply becoming a chat session. Each group member should have a specific function. Some times, for example, I use "learning cells". Basically each group or "cell" will have a specific literary task. Sometimes they evaluate a paragraph or interpret a character.Besides brainstorming ideas,  each student in the group will have a specific task. One will have to write their findings on the board, one will have to present and one will have to be the group leader. The leader is responsible for keeping the group on task. This model, of course, doesn't always go perfectly but I have had some good success with it in the past.

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rozederick01 | Student

Posted January 8, 2012 at 11:28 AM (Answer #47)

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I think that it also depends on your group mates :)

 

 

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kjarman | Teacher

Posted January 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM (Answer #48)

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With or Against "Groups in Class"?

Do you think that group-work is better than individuals work? Answer this by taking into consideration the following:(group members, co-operation and getting along together, the out come "individuals or group"), and finally in terms of grading --> do you think it is fair to grade them as a group or as individuals?

 

Rather or not group work is better than individual work depends o the learning style of the students. Some students are more of the intrapersonal type and socialization actually facilitates their thinking. These students are more of an extraverted personality and love to communicate their thoughts and ideas. They need to hear their selves talk inorder to process. Then you have others that are more of the introverted type. They are more interpersonal. These students need time to work alone inorder to process thoughts because they are more reflective thinkers.

Of course, any student who can not co-operate and get along with others should be given an alternative place to sit in the class or some other type of consequence for their behavior. This is more of an issue of classroom management then it is of instructional design.

Quality instructional design will provide for differentiated instruction because every student has different needs. A talented teacher will know when to use group work and when to use individual work. It is dependent in part on your instructional objectives and the form of demonstration that is needed as evidence of meeting the objective.

I  never give grades to a group. I always grade individuals. I watch how they are in the group and assign grades accordingly.

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kjarman | Teacher

Posted January 9, 2012 at 11:37 AM (Answer #49)

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In reply to #3 I never give every one in the same group the same grade, even if the kids do work in a group. I observe the groups as the kids work and i assign individual grades. I can tell by watching who talked alot and was off task and who got down to business. This is where your observation skills as a teacher come in handy:

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted January 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM (Answer #50)

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The fact is, the administration in most NYC public schools are  looking for the workshop model of education in classrooms. They do not want chalk and talk. Therefore, in my science classes I try to have group activities and projects as part of my repertoire. However, I still teach by example and demonstration on other days. They really want the teacher's role to be that of a facilitator and the kids role to discover the learning to make it more meaningful. However, in all groups, you usually don't get an equal distribution of effort, therefore, there still needs to be individual work to get a fair assessment of student ability.

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surfergirleliza123 | Student, Undergraduate

Posted February 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM (Answer #51)

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As a high acheiving student, I really cannot stand group work. I like to get my work done in advance, and my group members, however motivated, seem to leave it all until the last minute, putting more stress on me. I have worked with lazy classmates and motivated ones, but I work better by myself because I can do the work the way I want, when I have time, and am done with it.

 

For example, I had to do a group essay a few weeks ago. I had to work with two other people. The day before it was due the essay was nowhere near finished, so I contacted my group and they agreed to work on it for as long as we needed. So one of the group members and myself worked for three hours only to have the third tell us it was "maybe B- worthy" and "not worth her time to fix." This kind of attitude is what turns me off to group work, especially since my group was chosen for me.

 

However, I am in a situation tonight where I have done more than my share of work in anticipation of my chosen group member's contributions. Our assigment is due tomorrow, and he has yet to contribute at 10:30 at night. I am in a position where I am waiting up late for him to help finish the project and am very tired.

 

Though group work allows students to collaborate and see other sides to things, it is best to use it only in small, non-graded portions or in projects in which the students' roles are clearly outlined and are graded separately.

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drahmad1989 | Student, Undergraduate

Posted May 23, 2012 at 7:41 PM (Answer #52)

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two parameters should made for individual as well as for group and group must change every time in this way we can get good combinations of good students .

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