This week we will all be put into teams to work on the simulation, MikesBikes. After a quick scan through the to-do list it dawned on me that we will not be having any more lectures, instead we will have “team-time.” I don’t know whether to be super pleased or super nervous. Not having lectures is foreign to me, as I’m sure it will be for many others.
I honestly enjoy lectures, as long as the topic interests me I am quite happy to sit there, listen and take notes. I think it works for me and I learn this way. So naturally I’m feeling nervous about the lack of lectures in this paper. I have no past experiences with this type of structure, since primary school I have been writing down what the teacher says. Now I am beginning to wonder if that was actually the best way to learn.
According to research, students who are taught in small groups rather than a traditional context achieve higher grades (Oakley, Felder, Brent & Elhaji, 2004). There are many benefits to small learning groups, one that appeals to me would be gaining teamwork skills which we can then apply in different environments after university. This will be an extremely helpful skill to have. Hopefully working in teams allows opportunities to gain insight on concepts in the readings that I would be unsure about. Teaching others is the best way to learn ourselves (Edwards, as cited in Oakley et al, 2004) so hopefully we can all explain certain aspects of the paper to each other to benefit from this idea.
Keeping this research in mind, my original doubts have somewhat decreased. Having met my team today we seem like we are all keen for the semester ahead. Hopefully we are able to function well together so that this learning experience will be superior to individual learning (Oakley, 2004). We will all eventually have to work in teams so why not start learning this way now? One thing is for sure, this will be an interesting semester.
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9--34.