I used to believe that I did not perform very well in groups. I am an observer who likes to learn alone. I thought I learned best when I worked on my own. Even though I always knew group work had many positive values, I was more comfortable with the lecture-based approach and resisted group work merely because it involved change, not because it had a collaborative learning approach. However, during the learning community project, I came to realize that I learn more effectively when I work in groups. Working in a group was like an adventure for me; there were both exciting and challenging times while preparing for the learning community project.
The original research question our group came up with was “How can an individual influence a learning community to better support learning?” After the discussion in class, however, we decided to change our research question to “How can learning be improved through learning communities?” When we conducted research in the library and found many compelling articles, we realized that we had chosen a good research question. We decided to present our information on the social learning theory, key components on learning, and the benefits of a learning community. My focus was on the benefits of learning communities. I found many articles that focused on the benefits of learning communities, and the reviewing of other students’ Annotated Bibliographies helped me to get a better idea about the benefits of a learning community as well. The presentation by itself was not challenging enough, so we decided to play a game; in that way, everybody in the class could participate and actually could walk away with new knowledge. Each group member came up with three questions on our topics, and those questions were based on our research. I think the game show was a great idea, and it went excellently. Everybody learned something new from our game, and it was entertaining.
During week 9, we posted the articles we thought would be useful to our research, which helped us to get information together without face-to-face meetings. We did not use the online workplace to plan the presentation; we only used it to get an understanding of what the others’ focus was on the topic. After we finished our research, we met at the library to organize the presentation, power point, and plan each other’s section in the presentation. We got everything done in three hours and had some time left over to practice the presentation. I would have taken at least three days to get that amount of work done by myself. It is amazing how much can be accomplished when people work together. Working as a group was an exciting activity; we were able to recognize each other’s strengths, and help each other with our weaknesses. For example, I was better at making the power point, while someone else was much better at organizing information.
One thing I realized from doing this project was that I was motivated. For example, group work helped me...