It’s about that time in the term where group projects are hitting the collective radar. For some students, nothing stimulates fear and anxiety like the prospect of having to work with people they do not know or facing the chance of losing complete control over a piece of their grade. For faculty, the fear of group dysfunction may be preventing us from using group projects at all. A recent Teaching Professor article provides some excellent strategies to consider.
In a study by Pauli et al. (2008), the authors describe the experiences of students in groups using the Negative Group Work Experiences (NGWE) questionnaire. They report commonalities among a large sample of psychology students in the following four areas: lack of group commitment, task disorganization, storming, and group fractionation. Below are some ideas for dealing with these common issues our students face when working in groups: Continue reading