Edu 4530: Reflection on Groups, Projects, and Presentations Video

February 26, 2011

In this video, the presenters explained the values and challenges presented by using group activities, projects, and presentations to teach students. They utilize many different methods at many different skill and age levels.  These techniques may be used to the benefit of all students, but there are some associated risks with the associated techniques if not utilized properly. Despite these inherent risks, groups, projects, and presentations have the potential to greatly improve students.

The value of group work for students of all ages is immense. At every level it helps students form social skills that will prove invaluable as they make their way through the education system, and in the world beyond that. These social skills will help them to communicate ideas with peers, work together to meet a common goal, and to paraphrase what one child said in the film, “When we put all our ideas in together, we create something greater than the sum of our parts. ” Because of these things, group work can help to make students of all ages better learners and better people. There are inherent risks with utilizing these group techniques, such as students being off task and having the rest of their group need to pick up the extra work. However, by delegating exactly what students are expected to do, within reason for the age group, these group techniques should be successful.

Projects can be utilized to help students gain a myriad of skills and techniques that they will be able to utilize to better their future. Being able to make a personal investment is an important part of projects, as the greater the amount of interest garnered from students, the more permanent their understanding of the topic will be. Also, by being able to perform all the work necessary for the project, students will gain a greater degree of understanding provided by some traditional assignments. Some students may benefit greatly from project techniques where they might flounder otherwise. Not only that, but these projects will aid students in delegating responsibilities such as time management, organization, and being able to accurately communicate ideas to their peers.

It is important for student to learn presentation skills. These skills will help them become more confident in their future endeavors. It will also help them communicate ideas to their peers. This idea is so important in all these activities. In emphasizing this communication among peers, the students will be able to communicate in a variety of settings that may be outside their comfort zone and the scope of their knowledge. However, being able to properly function in these settings will give students an ability that will aid them through their educational careers and beyond.

Group, projects, and presentations are great techniques that make a permanent impact on a student’s learning. By having them connect with the material, other students, and their audience students are bettering themselves and learning great skills for the future. The onus is on the teacher to properly utilize these techniques in a way that will be beneficial to all students, regardless of age or skill.

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