Group process in the classroom: True collaboration, or Survivor?
Being “voted off the island” is a cultural phenomenon that has sprung up in the last decade, especially in television shows like The Apprentice, Survivor, and American Idol (I don’t watch any of these shows, by the way, I just here that contestants are voted off!). TV shows that demonstrate collaborative group process? Non-existent. They would not make for good television, or so the ad-men tell us! So when it comes to teaching group process, we don’t have many cultural examples to relate to, and we might be dealing with students who possess a distorted view of “real world” workplaces, where employees who don’t contribute their fair share are simply “voted off the island.”
I want to share my most recent experience with group process as an instructor in a motor development course. Ultimately, my faith in group process has not been shaken, but through reflection and discussion, I have devised a few best practices that I will be employing in future group assignments. What follows is an account of student successes and some areas where students struggled.
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