Group-work or working in a group?

Here is Mandy Jack abseiling off the top of Kilvey Hall of residence, behind Fulton House. She was part of the ISS team Book drop fundraising for SOS Africa.

Video and images by Deb Baff

Not exactly the type of group work we would normally be writing about here in SALT.  However, it is a good example of being part of a group or team, contributing an individual piece of work for a project, a concept which is often confused or interchanged in teaching with group-work.  Work like this is purely an amalgamation of  individual pieces of work collected and presented as one, rather than a collaboration where individuals share ideas, skills and methods to accomplish a task or project.  The latter is much more difficult to manage, but has so much to offer especially in higher education. Kezar (2004) discusses how the external pressures and the known benefits of collaboration, drove many higher education institutions to develop more collaborative learning opportunities. She talks of higher education institutes trying to create learning communities, service and community-based learning, and interdisciplinary research and teaching and that 50% of them failed. The article was written twelve years ago, so how far have we come? Furthermore, can technology help to drive the initiative further and with more success?

After reading an interesting article on Mediashift a few months ago I was interested to find out what sort of innovative collaboration was happening here at Swansea using digital technology.  If you have any stories, successes or otherwise we would love to know. Please email  salt@swansea.ac.uk.

I also want to investigate the possibilities that interactive touchscreens and presentation technology might have in various settings. You might have attended  one of the demonstrations last month where the SALT Team had a range of Interactive Touch Screens (ITS) available to explore. If so, please let us know what you think? Again contact us: salt@swansea.ac.uk.

We are hosting a session on Wednesday afternoon (June 22nd 2016) as part of the Learning Innovations Group (LIG)  project asking “Can technology enhance collaborative learning?”   It will be an opportunity to see the new SALT learning and teaching space and to test some collaborative, interactive tech over a spot of lunch. You will be asked to collaborate with colleagues and to share ideas about how you could embed such technology into your practice.  If you would like to attend please contact Mandy Jack at m.j.jack@swansea.ac.uk for details.

2 Comments

  1. Well done Mandy! A good event for a very worthy cause. And I totally agree re: the groupwork. Your analagy made me think of a cartoon I used to watch as a child – the Three Musketeers. The reason I thought of it was that the three main characters were all good, they came into their own when they worked together. Their catchphrase was “All for One and One for All”.

    Great work x

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