Nicola Dimelow's Conference Paper at Sheffield Hallam University's Learning and Teaching Conference 2012
Group work at University:Is Bullying an Issue?
Background: Two main conceptsGroup workUniversity?WorkSchoolBullying and harassmentNegative experiencePositive experienceDr Ann Walker had the original concept and Dr Lisa Reidy supported the process.
164 %agree/strongly agree that group work experience was positivePositive experiencesPositive experiences: 63.8% strongly agree/agree that group work experience has been positive60.3% groups worked well togetherGroup work provides a basis for skill development including negotiation (70.7% strongly agree/agree) and conflict resolution( 61.4% strongly agree/agree).
Negative experiences:36% Strongly/disagreed that group work was a positive experience
81% had group problems as deadlines approached.89.5% had issues with individual members not completing work.53.4% experienced members falling out to some extentOther experiences included gossiping (55.6%) and members not talking to each other (44.8%)47.4% reported tutor selected groups to be more problematic.10.2% had observed some form of bullying or harassment in group workThe dark blue columns represent possible bullying style behaviours whilst the pink is actual reported bullying or harassment in group work.
3Reduced contribution to task:28.1% (n=16)admitted to contributing less to a group assignment not understanding the task (25%), preference to working alone (37.5%), other students being more intelligent (25%),negative group behaviours (12.5%), members not listening to ideas (18.8%) too many other commitments (18.8%)
Social Loafing ?Group work has many positive aspects however when tutors are designing the task they need to Be available to individuals who are experiencing difficultiesSet up a code of conduct for collaborative workingConsider if it is fair to have group work tasks that are assessed