What lessons did I learn from Assignment 2?
Assignment 2 was my first-ever time to experience doing a group project solely online. At first, I was hesitant and even pondered asking Prof. Juachon if I could do the Assignment all by myself. I had always preferred doing school work by myself for several reasons:
1) I have experienced being a one-(wo)man group many times. Some of my groupmates from grade school, high school, and even college were, unfortunately, freeloaders and I have had to do twice or thrice the work just to keep up with the requirements in group projects.
2) On the fortunate occasions that some/all of my groupmates actually participate, I found it a bit unfair that we all received the same grade (whenever group grades alone are computed) even if some members contributed way more (or way less) than others.
3) It’s extremely difficult to meet up and plan a group project (especially in college) because of everyone’s commitments.
4) I have Type A Personality and simply prefer working by myself.
Despite my hesitation, however, I found the experience not as bad as I thought it would be and even learned several new things:
1) First, I learned that time is truly of the essence, especially in a group project involving students from different countries/timezones. It takes time to reply to each other’s ideas because of the time difference, so the earlier we can post our ideas and reply to our groupmates’ ideas, the better.
2) It’s important to take initiative. I was the first one to sign up for my group, yet my groupmate Irish (who was automatically assigned by Prof. Juachon into the group) was the first one to actually post her ideas. This led to my other groupmate (Priyanka) and myself (several days later) chiming in.
3) It’s good to delegate/divide tasks. We didn’t have a leader per se, but since both Irish and Priyanka were already discussing the ToS when I joined the conversation actively, and we didn’t have much time before the deadline of Phase 1, I took the role of reviewing what they already discussed and checking the outputs that they have created so far (which was lucky because I spotted that they committed several errors in terms of following instructions). I’m happy to have joined them because even though I was a bit late in sharing my own ideas for the first phase, at least I was able to help our group follow the instructions and together, we were all able to catch up for the next phases of the Assignment. 🙂
How would I like to have a similar experience in the future?
Will I want to do this again?
Shall I do something like it in a class that I (shall) teach?
To be brutally frank, it’s extremely challenging to conduct a group project entirely online. It takes too much time for ideas and feedback to be communicated, some meanings can be misunderstood unless very clearly elaborated, and the opportunities to comment on and refine outputs are quite limited. However, I want to experience doing other group projects like this which involve the actual application of what we learned in the course, provided that there’s ample time and that groupmates are as near (physically) to each other (making meet-ups possible) or as close to each other’s timezone as possible.
I’m thinking of doing something like this in a class that I’ll teach, but I would consider a lot of factors prior to doing so. If the class is online/distance education-based, probably not, but if it were a regular classroom, I would be eager to assign my students in a group and conduct an assessment that involves authentic application of knowledge such as what we had in Assignment 2. 🙂
To my groupmates, Priyanka and Irish, thank you so much for working/studying with me and I wish you all the best! 🙂