This form of group project works out pretty well. Some individual work, some sharing, discussion, cooperation, project planning, delegation, deadlines, time management, prioritization, publication of a deliverable, accepting responsibility,… Some groups had to deal with individual problems and worked around the snags. This isn’t easy, but it is a big step toward working effectively in the connected world of the future.
Communications is sooo important. Everyone has a life outside school. Things happen even to folks who really want to participate in the group work. They can’t do their part. Groups manage to get the work done anyway. It is tough when you have a situation where someone in the group doesn’t let the others know what they are doing and committing to do that they can’t. It is best to keep the group updated on your situation, whatever it is.
The Requirements question in the Quiz was interesting. I reused a question, but didn’t realize that I had expanded the wording for the MidTerm so it was not what I expected in the Final quiz. I admit it was pretty weird. I am surprised that nobody asked about it. However, there were several interpretations of what was being asked in this context and lots of great replies.
Was 5 resources x 10 topics too much? There were many more resources than that just in the discussions so it should have been review and selection. That’s better learning, less work and more interesting than studying a whole textbook for a high-stakes final exam IMHO.
In a 12week quarter this project isn’t so rushed. I was very impressed that all the groups were able to pull this off in such a short time.
Thanks for all the suggestions for making this better.
WikiEducator. I don’t know that anything can be done about the no auto-save in WikiEducator, but I will pass this along. There were several creative solutions like writing to email and copying that into the appropriate section in the wiki page. It is a bit tricky because everything should be in plain text using the wiki formatting. WikiEducator pages with just text and basic formatting can be rather plain, but there are lots of ways to make them more interesting. There was a WikiEducator exploration activity, but it could be more demanding so everyone learned how to use WikiEducator functions better.
Discussion forum or email. Looks like many people didn’t realize that you can have Catalyst send you an email anytime there is a new post to a specific discussion thread. Having all the conversation in the discussion is important as it provided a single detailed record of the project progress. Several groups commented that this was very helpful for managing the work, decision making and questions. However, for those who prefer emails for the instant notification, Catalyst can help with that too.
Real time communication. Even in small groups, it can be difficult to find times when 2-3 people can chat. Skype, meet at Starbucks,… It gets to be a problem if say 2 people of a 3 person group chat. It is then impossible for the third person to fully participate because they missed so much that happened. I’d like to avoid this so everyone can be involved in all aspects of the group work.
Lifelong learning. One of the most gratifying outcomes is the wonderful way students work together and learn from one another. This is something that you will keep forever.