Second day of uni yesterday. They allocated us into study groups and I have very mixed feelings about this. Mostly I just feel they are wasting my time.
For some things it makes sense to have a group, for others it does not. How they have composed the groups is another thing entirely.
Of course I would like to get to know the people in my new class.
Actually finding out who they are:
How the heck am I going to find out who these people are when all I have is a list allocating groups based on last name? Facebook stalk them? Wouldn’t it make more sense to tell people to look around, find three people in the vicinity of where they are sitting, and exchange names and numbers? You know their faces and there is a certain degree of self-selection in that those who care tend to sit in the front half of the auditorium and the slackers/perma-late people tend to hide in the back. Everybody’s happy. Or at least more happy than if they don’t know who their group mates are.
The kind of deliverables
They expect us to allocate work between 11 people??? This is going to get particularly ‘interesting’ for the econometrics hand-ins. You don’t do maths ‘together’. You can discuss verdicts together, you can test each other’s knowledge in a group. You can sit together and each do the assignment and help each other out if there is something that you feel unsure of, but what is likely to happen is that 2-3 people who understand how the numbers work do their thing and the rest look on and put their names on the paper. If the case is difficult it won’t get easier by gathering more people around the table since not everyone will actually get to do something, which in turn will not help at the exam.
It takes too much time
Having a group of 11 people means that you need to coordinate calendars of 11 people. On a weekly basis. You need to hear the opinions of 11 people. Just finding a time when everybody can meet will likely take longer than actually writing the paper.
Maybe I’m just getting old and grumpy… I really don’t mind reading a lot or doing assignments or having to work with somebody else, but please don’t create a set-up that lets group work invade my life. It takes time from other things. Such as actually getting stuff done so I can study Korean!