Group work Essay Example

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    Other
  • Document type:
    Assignment
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
    2
  • Words:
    1371

GROUP WORK 10

Introduction

Table of Contents

Introduction 2

Background Information 2

Discussion 3

Conclusion 7

Recommendations 8

Introduction

The following report focuses on student’s views about group work in terms of their structure, effectiveness and experiences. Groups are an important element in student learning based on its ability to improve learning through sharing of ideas and solving problems collectively. The importance of the research is to understand how students view groups in order to develop recommendations for effective group work. A survey was piloted by dispersing a questionnaire containing ten questions to students of the Abu Dhabi University to gather their opinions and collect an overall impression about the university groups. The report will offer a brief background about group and groups work. Moreover, the report will discuss the research findings based on significant aspects observed in the data collected. Lastly, the results of the research will be evaluated through a conclusion as well as offer recommendations.

Background Information

Students are expected to excel in their specific areas of learning, which happens to be a challenging task. Universities are also under pressure to offer high quality education and learning experiences in efficient and effective manners. Group work in universities has for time in memorial been established as an effective teaching and learning strategy. The main reason for this is because it allows students to negotiate meaning and influence ideas with others while reflecting upon their learning. According to Slavin, (2011) positive group work experiences have been illustrated to facilitate student learning, university success, and student retention. Perhaps one of the underlying benefits of groups is helping students develop social and interpersonal skills as they learn how to work and manage others.

Groups are made up of three to more people, which means that students can delegate roles and responsibilities to tackle, and more and complex problems or assignments. When discussing projects or course content, students gain and share different viewpoints. Moreover, groups have the ability to pool skills and knowledge together. Students also gain increased social support and motivation as well as increasing responsibility through accountability. Students working as a group can also develop new ideas to solving different challenges.

Based on the nature of current universities students face different challenges concerning culture and identity. Nonetheless, through group work students can share their identity through shared values and activities. Moreover, through groups, students tend to find role models and a greater sense of leadership and interaction. Despite the advantages of group work, there are numerous challenges that may influence its effectiveness. Groups that do not have an effective structure and are not assessed of supervised result in ineffective outcomes (Slavin, 2011). Moreover, there is need to develop roles that are effective for the group. Each member of the group has a role to play based on their abilities or as assigned. Nonetheless, groups are an effective way of ensuring increased student learning as well as developing skills and experiences that can be used in future career and personal life.

Discussion

Groups and group work are a common element in almost all universities. Students working together tend to achieve more in terms of learning and solving problems than when working individually. Nonetheless, not all groups are effective or their influence is positive. A research was conducted through a survey to understand the ABU student’s experiences, effectiveness, and opinions on groups.

The results of the survey illustrated numerous opinions and observations about groups. As illustrated in (figure 1), the main question focused on how group work effects student’s grades? 54% of the participants reported that through their experience, group work affects their grades positively while 14% believed they group work influenced their grades negatively. Again, 16% of the student’s believed they were not sure while the same number believed that group work. The results of this survey illustrate eerier evidence that group work contributes to learning positively. Additionally, 42% of the students surveyed believed that group work should be implemented in three or more courses within the university. This illustrates that most students prefer group work in most of their courses. Therefore, there is need to evaluate the number of groups and group work offered in numerous courses.

Group work

Student’s also expressed their opinion regarding the biggest advantages of work groups. As illustrated in figure 2 42% of the student interviewed believed that the biggest advantage of group work is reducing pressure while working with 32% of students reporting their greatest advantage to be learning how to deal with different types of people. The rest of students were divided between socializing and brainstorming. Overall, these observations tend to illustrate the positive aspects of group work in terms of allowing students to improve or enhance their learning experiences. These results tend to illustrate the underlying benefits of group work as perceived by students at ABU.

Group work  1

As discussed earlier, not all groups are effective or achieve success. This occurs where groups are not designed, evaluated, and supervised effectively. The research also focused on student’s opinions on their roles within groups and group work. Students were asked what was the biggest disadvantage of group work? As illustrated in (figure 3), 48% of the students reported freeriding to be the biggest disadvantage to group work. Freeriding can be expressed as the process where instead of contributing to group work members of the group just stay there for the sake of being there and no other significant or apparent reason. This means that most of the students believe freeriding affects group work negatively. Again as illustrated in the figure below, 28% of the students believe that conflict between members is a disadvantage to group work. Again, 22% of the student’s interviewed indicated that wasting time was an apparent disadvantage to group work. The rest of the surveyed participants who were about 2% believed that not having enough group members was a disadvantage. These results illustrate the need to implement design, evaluation, and supervision for groups. Again, these results go hand in hand with other issues such as the presence of an inactive member within the group. Most students’ also believed that they would rather contribute or become leaders as part of a group than freeriding.

Group work  2

Conclusion

In conclusion, students are expected to excel in their specific areas of learning, which happens to be a challenging task. Universities are also under pressure to offer high quality education and learning experiences in efficient and effective manners. Group work in universities has for time in memorial been established as an effective teaching and learning strategy. The main reason for this is because it allows students to negotiate meaning and influence ideas with others while reflecting upon their learning. According to Shimazoe & Aldrich, (2010) positive group work experiences have been illustrated to facilitate student learning, university success, and student retention. Perhaps one of the underlying benefits of groups is helping students develop social and interpersonal skills as they learn how to work and manage others.

Recommendations

The Abu Dhabi University should promote group work by increasing the number of courses with group work. Moreover, the university should setup a system to effectively help students design, evaluate, and supervise the outcomes or efforts of group works. Groups are made up of three to more people, which means that students can delegate roles and responsibilities to tackle, and more and complex problems or assignments. When discussing projects or course content, students gain and share different viewpoints. Moreover, groups have the ability to pool skills and knowledge together. Students also gain increased social support and motivation as well as increasing responsibility through accountability. Students working as a group can also develop new ideas to solving different challenges. Moreover, there is need to develop roles that are effective for the group. Each member of the group has a role to play based on their abilities or as assigned. Nonetheless, groups are an effective way of ensuring increased student learning as well as developing skills and experiences that can be used in future career and personal life.

References

Slavin, R. E. (2011). Cooperative learning. Learning and Cognition in Education Elsevier Academic Press, Boston,, 160-166.

Shimazoe, J., & Aldrich, H. (2010). Group work can be gratifying: Understanding & overcoming resistance to cooperative learning. College Teaching, 58(2), 52-57.