The Challenges of Group Work

Posted on June 11, 2013 by

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The Constitutional Convention was a lot like our group process of decision making. There were a lot of strong voices who had firm ideas and weren’t afraid to voice their opinions. Everyone said their piece and then it had to be debated before they settled on a compromise. A lot of the compromises made were ones that opted for a later solution instead of the immediate one. For example, in the slavery debate, they said that they were going to abolish slavery 20 years later rather than in that current document, which made the southern states able to agree and sign the constitution. Our democracy is based off of a lot of different opinions and is the result of many different beliefs and hard work. I think that this process is a very hard one therefore, every word in the document should be respected and obeyed no matter what your beliefs are because this document is a representation of everyone’s wishes no matter how many compromises were made.

Compromise was an over arching theme in the group work as well. I had never worked in a group this big and it proved to be very difficult. I think that it was a lot easier to collaborate with students who were willing and excited to step up for different roles. Having one leader I think worked the best because there was one voice directing and only one point of view instead of conflicting views, which we had at the beginning of the project. The project was similar to a confusing puzzle, but in the end all the pieces fit together in a cohesive manner. Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 1.38.26 PMAt the beginning of the project we had too many voices and it became very hectic and I would not recommend this route. Our initial video idea did not pan out and I think that we did a good job troubleshooting and making the video more engaging. We put all the pieces together and made a great presentation.

I tried to be a leader, but Maddie was definitely the commanding voice in the group. After that was established I took a semi-leadership role in my own little group (but that didn’t need much leadership. We were on task most of the time). I tried to keep other people on task and preach efficiency to meet our deadline. I think that because of the fast approaching deadline a group took charge and almost ignored the more shy people within the class, which was a big flaw in our process. To be fair, we had to meet a deadline and so we had to make decision in a timely manner, which did not entail taking everyone’s opinion into account. This method proved to be very effective, but also hectic and stressful. In the end, I actually enjoyed being apart of this project and learned a lot through the editing process.

The group size was problematic and got in the way of being productive. I also think that we should have made more deadlines within the project because we were very productive in “crunch time”. For anyone who wants to tackle this type of project I recommend making those deadlines to keep every group on task the whole time. It would have also been helpful to have one of the leaders of the project involved in each one of the small subgroups.

It was very helpful for the group to have someone to keep them on task and organized. I think I brought a little bit of the organization to the group and help increase efficiency, but sometimes my voice can get a little too controlling and drown out other people’s voice, so it was nice having other people to keep that in check. I learned a lot during the editing time and how to use iMovie. This skill will be helpful in future projects and I am very grateful for the patience of my classmates in teaching me how to edit and use iMovie tools. This was a great process to go through and it was very eye opening to the challenges one faces in such a big group.

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Posted in: Projects