Sunday, 7 February 2016

Feedback on 119155 communications in Sciences

Cutting to the chase: There were a number of minor, human and understandable irritations, only listed here in the spirit of honest feedback:

  • ·         Some links weren’t correct - Pete very responsive on this and put it right within an hour or so.
  • ·         For topic 3 the link was to the 2010 report. Not the later 2013 report.
  • ·         Jacqui sent out emails with a ‘no reply’ email address so I had to trawl through the administrative guide to find her address.
  • ·         It would have been a great help if lectures were available as MP3 or other format.  I had problems downloading lectures to anything but my laptop. My phone is a mainstream smart phone, only 6 months old and it would have been great to be able to listen in the car during the 10+ hours of driving I do a week.
  • ·         Should be able to run a questionnaire to determine natural Belbin team roles
  • ·         Marks in boxes on assignment feedback were out of alignment. Made it hard to read.

My main issue is with the group assignment. The following criticism is not directed personally at my team mates. It is meant more of a criticism of the group project in its present form.

When things started to go wrong in my group I started to communicate my experience to others who had been to university and been in group projects. My personal opinion, I found, was shared by my boss, my colleagues, and friends from many walks of lives, including my yoga classmate Nicola Campbell who happens to specialise in group psychology. Without fail they felt that the group project idea is fraught with problems particularly when peer to peer evaluated. It encouraged cliques and alliances, bought out insecurities and raised anxiety (i.e. all the makings of a reality TV show) and unless properly managed does not create a good learning environment.

 I can hear you ask “why didn’t you go to your tutor”. There are a number of reasons why. It was too late. By the time my team mates went incommunicado during the final editing it was too late to do anything. Everyone had put in so much effort I didn’t want to distract from the final push.  I did share with Jacqui my lack of trust but she didn’t respond so I thought I should just put on my big girl pants and get on with it.

I stood to lose more by being labelled “the troublesome one”. My main goal was and is to pass the course. Since it was apparent I would be able to achieve that by continuing without complaining, I continued without complaining – though my team mates rating (yay for peer evaluation!) and lower overall mark of the group assignment managed to drag my grades down.

Thank you for the course and your effort. It was interesting and I learnt a lot. Pete and Jacqui were really responsive and positive. You bought a lot to the course with your energy and enthusiasm.  Your grade is B- upgradable to A (mirroring the effect of the group assignment on my grades) if you promise to have a serious look at how the teams are created and managed.

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