As a third year student engineering, there is a compulsory module that groups you up with random individuals and marks you based on your group’s collective effort. Yep, looking at you SESM3029.
The great thing about working in a group is, you’re not the only one working on a project, you get to meet new people, you can bounce ideas off your teammates, you can specialise on one factor of the project, and scheduling meetings can be based on your teammates.
The annoying thing about working in a group is, you’re not the only one working on a project, you have to meet new people, your ideas bounce off your teammates, you can end up too specialised on one factor of the project, and scheduling meetings can be based on your teammates.
All jokes aside, aside from the occasional person giving us the flying an aeroplane (being stood up) experience, my group appeared to function pretty well. Granted not all of us were assigned to sections of the project that we were experienced in, but we managed to pull of a decent score. To which made me wonder, is it better to volunteer for a role in which I know I can handle best, or one which my group needs, i.e. one where I am the best at handling out of everyone in my group, or one which out of everyone in my group, I can handle the best. Personally, I lean towards the latter, basing which roles I pick up accordingly. Which lead to me being part of the team answering technical questions during the group presentation. However, I couldn’t help but notice that my team didn’t share this same mindset, leaving the people who were often tardy or a pilot to pick the jobs which were,while not difficult, more bothersome to deal with. Because hey, surely the student can deal with presenting the project summery right?
Well, not always. Sometimes as a Malaysian student who grew up in an English speaking environment, I forget that not all foreign students have the same proficiency in English as I do. I simply assume that the biggest hurdle would be stage fright, and forget about dealing with pronunciation, and making eye contact. Not to say that I excel in any of those, just that as a self confessed introvert, that would be the greatest hurdle.
Thus perhaps dumping the presentation job onto someone who had better speaking skills and knows how to actually make eye contact might have been a better choice, even if the other guy ends up mucking up the slides. At least the presenter might be able to pass it off as more to speak about right? And in doing so giving us a better score. Because in the end, it’s always about the grade isn’t it?