Loud Thinking: Challenging life, software, and media
Wednesday, June 12, 2002 @ 01:39 | Challenge?

The torment of group work ends

For thrice the duration of 14 days, the agony of group based examination projects has been chipping away my sanity. Organizational theory, computer science, economics — all subjects I care about. But despite the caring, I've felt utter disgust with them all over the past two months.

And it isn't right. Group based projects are all fine and dandy for teaching you an array of people handling (enduring?) skills and coordinating efforts. But I've come to believe that the academic extract is severely impaired in the process.

It's all too easy to pick and choose just the cherry that you're already comfortable with when dishing out assignments (and hence learning little). It's too easy to hide. It's too easy to stop caring and let others bear the burden.

And, worst of all, it's anything but a realistic depiction of actual commercial, project-based problem solving. Too great an overlap in abilities, not enough experience at the table.

Plea for next semester: Keep the group-based projects to one soft class (like organizational theory) and let the real meat (computer science/economics) get chopped individually.

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