In our group inquiry in week 23 and 24, we set about pulling our work together to finalise our presentation. As a team, we complement each other well. We all bring our own set of skills to the table and where one person is weak the others make up the shortfall. In theory, we all have a piece of the puzzle together we make a full picture. The challenge to our collaboration was in the size of the group. Inevitably it was two vs one when it came to decisions and this left someone feeling outnumbered. As there were many issues to be resolved, paragraphs to be trimmed, rewording and ultimately half the information to be slashed we were all feeling a little downtrodden.
What I come away with is a clear understanding of the impact of group sizes. Three is great if you need to get things done but you must understand that there is the potential for one person to feel left out, especially if there are strong bonds between two in the team. Research says 5 is an effective number for a working group and less than that there can be skill deficits which can impact on effectiveness. The advantage of the smaller group is the ease of communication channels that are more difficult in larger teams.
After personally experiencing collaborating in a group I am keenly aware of the need to monitor the group dynamics and how these impact on individuals. Allowing students to choose their groups and then being aware of how the team evolves will ensure all the members are supported in their learning. Students with low status are more likely to be overlooked or inhibited, unlike their higher status peers who have more opportunities to contribute. Ha Le et al (2018).