In Rheingold’s Net Smart we read about collaboration and how participatory culture affects our world. Rheingold talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media and collective action — and how Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of our natural human instinct to work as a group.With this I think about group projects…Are they neccessary? Are they useful? Group projects in the high schol and college classroom are almost unavoidable. Working in a group has its joys and woes and when executed correctlly, can be benificial to students.

The question often arises: how do I grade group work fairly? In the high school classroom, students are very willing to tell on each other when they feel they have been treated unfairly. With this in mind, I feel that the best way to grade group projects is to have the students fill out a form of accountability. On this form, they must grade themselves and then list what they feel each member of their group contributed to the project or paper.

In my teaching literature to adolescents class, I created a lesson plan which required my students to work in a group for 6 weeks, the length of one unit. During this, the students were divded in half, (lucky for me, I was working with Romeo and JUliet, so I was able to divide them into the montegues and capulets) each thing the students did each them SHAKS POINTS which applied to their final exam. The students earned points through good behavior, quiz grades, activities, and outstanding tasks. This type of group work forced the students to be accountable for their actions and hold their classmates acccountable as welll. This type of collaboration offered a fun way to learn the play, while instilling responsibility within the students.

Collaboration in ENGL 3241 is difficult because everyone’s creative space is different. However, meshing all of those creative juices can create some really cool products. Our class “we are” poem, is a perfect example of that. We combined all of our ideas into one space creating a fun, free environment for us to play and interact. Our “we are” poem is an excellent example of positive collaboration and how it can produce a beatiful project.


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