I have to admit, like Mila Prokopenko, my relationship with group projects is a mixed bag. Unlike Mila, I had no experience with group projects in school until I came to Cascadia. As an older, returning student, my school history consisted of being responsible for my own learning and my own grade, and I liked that just fine, thank you very much! And not only was I being asked to work with other students, I was also being asked to evaluate them, and potentially have an impact on their grade. I found that just as uncomfortable as them having impact on mine.
I can’t say that I’ve come full circle and actually look forward to group projects, but I don’t hate them anymore.
Here’s what I’ve learned (I like lists):
- The quality of the Group Norms and Operating Procedures Agreement sets the tone for the project. The more specific we can be in what we expect from one another, the better.
- My ideas aren’t always the best ones. I’m continually amazed by great ideas that come up that I never would have thought of.
- They’re still difficult for an introvert like me. I’ll be honest, group projects will probably never be something I look forward to with great anticipation, but I have actually enjoyed many of them and more importantly, I’ve learned from them.
- As Mila observed, group projects aka working in teams are common in the workplace.
- There is always something new to learn, especially if we’re willing to listen.
I’m a realist. Group projects at Cascadia aren’t likely to go away, nor, if I’m honest, do I think they should. I now approach group projects with the expectation that I’ll learn something new; and really, that’s pretty exciting in itself.
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