Week 4 Multimedia Journalism: The Writing Process

12 Feb

This week, Steve Rice’s main assistant instructor talked to us about the writing process and how writing can be as much for the writer’s own creative process as it can be a product for the reader.  He also related the importance of free writing and it’s helpfulness in defining a writer’s mission for a project and how we can use it for projects that we will be completing this semester.  

He touched upon how in a group dynamic it is important to have personal clarity as well as group unity and how group free writing is good for collaborating on ideas. This made me curious as to the different process it requires to work in a group as compared to individual work. I have worked in groups before but I haven’t ever pinpointed what makes it so difficult at times.  The clear difference between these models is that there are several people working together to accomplish a goal as opposed to one person working alone. It would seem that dividing the work among everyone would make the project much easier than just one person holding the entire load, but does it really?

This article, The Unfortunate Motivation Behind Assigning Group Work (http://paulrheller.com/2010/08/the-unfortunate-motivation-behind-assigning-group-work), lays out the advantages and disadvantages of group work and instructor’s motivations behind assigning group work. Some advantages of group work include: being able to bounce ideas off of one another, learning to work with others and faculty grading time is reduced.  Some disadvantages are: the more motivated students can end up doing the most work and conflicts can arise between group members. 

 I typically feel as though I do much of the work in group projects but I also really like that the group can correct each other. With a big group project coming up at the half semester mark, I think it is important to consider all of the factors that come into play in group dynamics.  Hopefully, I can work well with whoever I’m grouped with and we can find a fair way to divide responsibility. If troubles arise, then Rice’s main assistant ‘s advice to sit down and throw out individual ideas may be a good way to refine our group mission as well as keeping individual clarity.

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