This article caught my eye today. As we embark on Week 4 of our Designing Clinical Research (DCR) course with Peking Union Medical Center Hospitals (PUMCH), we find ourselves constantly reminding, encouraging, almost pleading with our learners to engage with their peers. While our assignment is not truly a group project, we do expect all learners to give and receive feedback as each participant develops his or her clinical research protocol over the eight week course. As with all learning groups, there is a broad spectrum of collaborative participation — those who give and seek feedback from the first day and throughout each week, and those who only post their own work and do not offer helpful feedback to their fellows. From the faculty perspective, it is remarkably obvious which participants are learning and growing and which are just going through the motions.
To be fair, this is an amazing course with outstanding members — as much networking and dialogue as I have ever seen. Faculty and learners are highly engaged — well above the norm. I am honored to be associated with this great course! (More about the course coming!)
“The next assignment will be a group project.” The word group was a swear word in my book akin to a big fat F. Group projects meant arguments. Group projects meant a low grade.
As an adult I can see where my fears, insecurities, and personality set me up to hate collaboration. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my classmates; it was simply a matter of feeling out of control.