Due to my current experience working in groups, I have learnt several things from group assignments. Formerly, I never used to regularly meet for group work assignments but now I have known that meeting regularly for group work discussions is necessary to allow superior performance. In my first group when we were given group assignments, we did not seriously discuss our assignments and also took little time in doing our assignments. Group works was essential because it was aimed at helping our group to combine ideas and learn from one another. It was an advantage for us to work in groups because it allowed us to share ideas and come up with quality work. On the other hand, our group work had potential to bring about problems since none us had good knowledge of the assignment topic. More so, cooperation in the group was necessary for good performance.
My first group assignment consisted of an annotated bibliography and had two members. In the first group, we were two in the group and my friend and I shared the same nationality. We both didn’t know much about the topic. We worked on the assignment late and we did not have time to do it well. We met infrequently to work on this first assignment. We got low marks for our work as a result of not taking time for the assignment. The second assignment was a debate and we were three in that group. For the second assignment I aimed to ensure that the assignment was a success. The following analysis relates all that I did to ensure that the next group assignment was done well. The final synthesis makes a summary of what I learnt from group assignments.
Analysis of group assignments
The performance of my first group was poor. This was mainly due to lack of competence and little time spent on the assignment. It was assumed that group assignments allow students to share ideas and perform well in the group but this had been proved wrong. The only way to get around the incompetence would have been to spend more time on our assignment. If my partner and I had spent more time on the assignment and completed the assignment in advance, we would have been able to go through it, do revisions and polish it. The poor performance led me to aim for the opposite in my second assignment. In the second group we attended regular meeting and completed the assignment in advance. In addition, I ensured that in my next group assignment, we had one group member who was competent on the topic of the assignment to help us write the assignment well. Though not all the group members attended all the meetings we still performed better. For the second group we completed the assignment early in advance and we had enough time to revise the whole work before we handed it over to the teacher.
In my analysis of the first assignment I concluded that students usually do their group assignment in a rushing manner. This is often because of starting on the assignment close to the deadline. In my experience this is why we failed to have enough time for revision. In addition we did not hold frequent meetings so as to work on the assignment as a group. Working in the first group was boring, less involving and less helpful to our goal because we scored poorly in the assignment. From the second group assignment, I learnt that meeting often and working on group assignments early was very helpful. Equally helpful was having a group member who is competent on the topic. The second group was helpful since all members ensured full participation in doing the work.
By examining what happened in the two groups and their outcomes I can say that I have learnt what enables a group’s task to work out well and to take group assignments serious. I found that group assignments need to be performed in advance to ensure thorough work. Regular meeting are necessary in group assignments to ensure that impressive work is done. Lastly, every group requires a member with good knowledge of the topic who will help write the group assignment correctly. Group members are the ones who determine the kind of marks they will score in their group assignments depending on how seriously they work in their assignments. By working well on an assignment the group has the ability to influence the marks they get.
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. New
York. Oxford press.