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Working in groups is often crucial whilst in Higher Education. Students are often required to work as a team and do various activities, such as presentations, research, discussion groups and group projects

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Working In Groups Effectively Working in groups is often crucial whilst in Higher Education. Students are often required to work as a team and do various activities, such as presentations, research, discussion groups and group projects. Group-work effectiveness depends on peers' skills when dealing with each other, an effective group will have common shared aims and different individual aims. The more practice students get the more their skills should improve. Working in groups involves working co-operatively, which creates opportunities to share: ideas, resources, abilities and perspectives. Students are learning to be supportive of one another by talking through their difficulties and finding solutions. Students may have to face diverse situations in the future where they will have to be supportive to a close friend, family member or colleague. By learning to be supportive in Higher Education it will prepare them for the future. Groups are expected to learn to work: collaboratively, for example giving each other suggestions; cooperatively, going through lecture notes together; and encouragely, letting others know how well they think they have done. All these things are preparing students for life after graduation. ...read more.


Computers are also used by students when preparing presentations and projects and therefore are another good advantage for life after graduation. Groups are thriving and developing organisms that never stay still. Groups move as a unit and through interaction of the various elements within them. These elements are, According to Jaques (2000, p.32):, called: "Four Stages of Development". Students first enter 'Forming'. This is where the students come together for the first time to form a group. The members of the group then become familiar with each other by talking about themselves and exchanging contact details. The next stage a student enters is 'Storming'. This is where team members begin to clash against each other because of challenges and competition. This stage can be very uncomfortable for everyone. 'Norming' is the follow on stage. This is where students start to relax because everyone is starting to respect one and others' views and listen to what others have to say, because no-one wants conflicts to arise again; everyone does not like challenging ideas and views. The final stage students come across is 'Performing'. ...read more.


By working together, discussions move forward onto new levels of understanding and analysis. Quiet members of a group might not feel wanted because they feel they do not contribute enough, when really, According to The Open University (1990, p.62): 'The group needs their support players just as much as the big shots.' Group work is based on the fact that participants, whether students or employers are willing not just to learn, but to learn how to learn, and to combine this for future development. Learning is a process that keeps on repeating itself and includes challenges, taking risks, sharing, understanding others views and opinions and monitoring his or hers experiences and progress. Students should be able learn a lot: an awareness of themselves and the effects he or she may have whatever the goal or aim might be. Groups sometimes do not realise how much of an advantage it is to work together. They may realise by time it is to late. By that time the students goal will not be achieved because discussions and actitivities would have gotten him or her nowhere. Once working in groups is going well then members of the group will be able to handle challenges and be able to recognise and avoid disturbances. Learning to work in groups is very important for everyday life. ...read more.

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