Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Classroom Challenge: Group Work

Now, HERE'S something that we all have to face at some point or another--group work. I'm going to be incredibly frank about this: I do not prefer group work at all. I'm a lone wolf in this type of situation. Yet, that sort of viewpoint wouldn't help me in an actual group setting. Luckily enough, you can actually learn a lot from working with others on a project.

One of the first aspects about group work that you can pick up on is how you actually fit in a group setting. You have the leader, the mediator, the work horse, and the subordinate, to name a few. You may actually find yourself under several roles in a group, depending on the project.

  • THE LEADER: The person that steps up and takes charge of the situation. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're bossy, but it does denote a sense of dominance.  
  • THE MEDIATOR: This person stands as the personification of conflict resolution. Whatever goes on in the group, this person knows how to ensure that everyone sees eye-to-eye. 
  • THE WORK HORSE: This is the person who doesn't mind the load. They may not always have an idea to contribute, but if you give them a task, consider it done.
  • THE SUBORDINATE: Not quite a leader, not quite a mediator, doesn't really want to handle all of the work, but they're still just as important. Whenever you need help with an idea or simply just a second opinion, they're sitting right there in the group (probably texting). 
As it turns out, I started out being more of a work horse. Yet, as the years have passed, I've now found myself being more of a leader-type. It's all a part of the role of being adaptable, really. If the group needs a leader, then I have no problem with stepping up (seeing as though I tend to be able to settle on a decision faster that some); however, if there is already a leader-type individual present, I tend to step down to the work-horse role. Either way, even though I do not prefer group work, I just want to ensure that we all come out with as quality of a product as possible.


  1. Josh, I agree you are a leader/work horse. I usually find myself straddling this line also. I say that but ideally but truly it involves the work and environment. Say if coming in these roles are obviously taken I turn more into a mediator. Preferably I do not like group work but they can be enjoyable. (depending on the group members) But they can also be stressful worrying if the others are going to be there with you or if everyone is just going to be a subordinate.

  2. Group work isn't my thing either. I like working on my own, especially if I have to work outside of the classroom. Every once in a while, it can be fun, but for the most part it's not fun for me.

  3. I myself love group work because it takes off the work load of all the group members. Im a good worker by myself but i tend to enjoy group work becasue its more fun for me and the rest of the group. I also agree with ashley in saying your a good worker when it comes to getting the assignment done.