Directed Studies for DMD – A Reflection on How We Worked as as Group and What Was My Personal Contribution

I was part of Group A with Paul Armstrong and Kim O’Shea. Our group was compiled together on the basis that “Social Media for Social Good” was our preferred chosen topic.

I don’t think the realisation of how important working as a group was hit me until we were being told about deadlines for presentations and essays and we were being asked how we were fitting what we wrote so far together.

I found what really contributed immensely to the efficiency of our group work was the introduction of Google Docs to us by Paul. I hadn’t heard of it before, but now I find myself using it constantly for a lot of my course work. Paul created a document on Google Docs that would allow us to share all the articles and links we had found relating to our topics and then he opened the document so we could all access and edit it freely. It also contained a chat section where we could instant message each other about the topic whenever we were online.  He also did this with the document for the essay itself and we would know when he created it because he would email us the link so as to enable us to access it.

I think our shared drive on Google docs was the key to our efficiency while carrying out our group work. When I discovered that Google docs also allowed me to create a Presentation file, I set one up immediately as I realised that the date of our presentation was looming (I initially caused trouble because I didn’t know how to make it open to the others and I was only the one who could edit it!). I thought giving the presentation a kickstart was probably my most notable contribution to the group. I created a rough structure by setting out about 20 slides, designating 5 to each us as well as including the introduction and conclusion and the start-up slide. I left notes in the slides to Paul and Kim encouraging them to chop and change as much as they felt was fit. I wrote up a very rough introduction and conclusion to give us an idea of what we would begin and end with but intended to change it. The Google docs allowed us to see who was the last person to edit the slides and when did they do it.

I did my best to get as involved with my group members topics as I did with my own. I explored their links on the initial Google document and offered to proofread parts of their essays. I found it very difficult to match my language and style of writing with those in my  group and trying to link our topics together which were, despite fitting under the title “Social Media For Social Good”, were quite different.

Overall I felt we worked very well as a group, there were no disputes thankfully and we overcame any glitches we had along the way quickly and smoothly. In general I find group work tedious and difficult and personally I much prefer working on my own, but doing this project has made me I realise the importance of learning how to work as a group, especially in relation to my coursework over the next few years.

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