(More) Reflections on Group Work

I’ve been a fan of Cascadia College since I first began taking classes here, more years ago than I care to disclose. Hidden inside the walls of this institution are a vast array of opportunities and skilled, knowledgeable, caring instructors. The Humanities Internship in the PR/Marketing department that I signed up for this quarter seemed like a perfect way to leverage my connections in the community for Cascadia’s benefit and the benefit of potential students. It has also been beneficial to me.

I had the privilege of interviewing several students, both traditional and non-traditional, and I asked this two-part question: “Reflecting on your time at Cascadia, what has been your favorite aspect of learning? What has been your least favorite?”   This question turned out to be a great opening for additional discussion on group work.

Whatever the personal feelings on group work, all of the students I interviewed saw the value in working with others. One student described interactive learning and group work as key to drawing her out of her extreme shyness, and she used what she defined as “an imbalance of engagement” in groups as an opportunity to draw others out as well. Another appreciates the camaraderie to be found in group projects, especially when engaged in topics of common interest, but he is also sometimes frustrated with the dynamics of groups and the power others have over his grade. A third student said he “loves group projects and the emphasis on group learning, teamwork, and working together.”

Working with Meagan Walker and Sara Gómez Taylor has essentially been group work and reflecting on the past quarter and previous group projects I’ve realized what I like best about group projects. Ideas that have the benefit of group discussion are bigger, more refined, more defined. I can feel the energy building in me as I write this and think about how ideas have changed and grown and taken on new life through group discussion. I think I’ll add a number 6 to the list in my first blog on group projects.

  1. Ideas that have the benefit of group examination and discussion grow bigger, more refined, more defined.

Janet Quinn
PR/Marketing Intern
Cascadia College

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