Re: Making group work palatable

Subject: Re: Making group work palatable
From: KAREN_OTTO -at- HP-SPOKANE-OM2 -dot- OM -dot- HP -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 09:08:46 -0700

Item Subject: cc:Mail Text
One thing I noticed when I was interviewing candidates for jobs was
that every time they had a group project, the dysfunction of the
groups was always discussed in the interview.
Certainly, the smoother talking candidates usually said something like
"I had to take leadership..." or "I had to do all the work myself...".
My guess is that teams that were truly successful in collaboration
were rare.

What I really learned from these people was that even though group
projects were assigned, NO ONE was given training in how to work
together on a project. To me, this is a fundamental job skill. It is
also a skill that is not being taught, neither by family nor the
school system.

If you insist upon doing a group project, please give the students at
least a chance for success by providing training or access to training
on how to work together. Make sure that part of their grade is
dependent on their individual work, their team dynamics, and the final

Teamwork is hard to learn. Please don't just throw them in the water
and expect them to win an Olympic race.


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