Friday, April 19, 2013

Group Work Trifecta

My students hate group work.  Ha ha ha…  That's why I, hee hee hee… assign group projects.  And not just any group project, <tears down cheeks / clutching belly> but group writing-projects requiring research.  I have to move on, my sides are aching.  Chuckle, chuckle…

It is wonderful to hear the wailing, the gnashing of teeth, the lamentations, and to see my reflection in the gall-filled eyes of those imposed upon to interact with other human beings, outside of class, on homework.
What follows are three common complaints about group work. 

We all have different schedules and it's hard getting together outside of class.  I know.  If only someone, someday, would invent a device allowing people to communicate over long distances at any time of the day.  If only someone would create a way to send other people documents in almost real-time.  And, this is far-fetched, but wouldn’t it be really Kurzweil if we could send images and talkin’ moving-pictures to one another?  I hear tell there’s a thing called a telephone built on a network of wires.  Maybe the invento-ologists could play off of that and come up with something.  Until then there’s always smoke signals, or maybe just rhythmically beat on hollow logs in the forest and hope the other team members will hear.

(Insert name here) didn’t do anything.  Yep, (insert name here) was a real turd on this one.  I wonder where (insert name here) learned to be like that?  I mean, what organization out there just passes people up the academic ladder, even when they don’t do their fair share?  And, speaking of victimization, wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to break the cycle of abuse?  I mean, what might a group of three people do to help their fourth group member understand how laziness is no longer going to fly?  Might have to talk to (insert name here) and let that person know you know they aren’t doing anything.  And I, as much as the next person, want everyone to like me and to be very popular and to never, ever, never, hurt anybody’s widdle bitty feewings.  If that means sacrificing a grade, so be it.  Because, heck, after this class, me and (insert name here) are going to be best buds.  Maybe we can even sit together when we have to retake this class.
It’s not fair we get the same grade.  Remember the Titanic?  Everybody on the Titanic received the same grade.  Remember the Little Big Horn?  Everybody in the Seventh Cavalry received the same grade.  Remember Border’s Books?  Everybody at Border’s received the same grade.  Please write a 5,000 word personal-reflection essay on the role of fairness and reality.

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