Overall, I feel that the progression our class has made while working on the collective assignment over the past few weeks has been amazing. I remember having my doubts about how this assignment would go when we first talked about it like Sonita pointed out today. Admittedly I had my doubts, I thought this assignment would result in only a few people typing up the assignment while we all tried to get in a contribution. However, I was surely wrong as this assignment turned out to produce what I think is a truly remarkable paper.
On the first day, there were definitely growing pains involved in the process of trying to complete a collective assignment. Some of my personal contributions would be on topic while a fair amount of them would be tangential or skipping too far ahead. I think a few other also felt this assignment was challenging at times as Serhiy points out in his post. At times I think it was a little difficult to try and condense what I was saying with what my group members were saying too but as time progressed we were able to start to make things work. It became easier for all of us to get what we were saying into our paragraph in a more concise way and I feel like this was helpful for all of us and especially the designated writer. I think we were able to develop our paragraph fairly well given where we started off and this improvement was definitely important.
During the second day things continued to progress and my group was able to put together a better paragraph than we had the first day ( no offense group one you guys were still great) because we were more comfortable with the work we had. More people warmed up to this assignment and our collective contributions included multiple people typing in sentences that we felt were necessary for our assignment. Others contributed by editing what was written and some also contributed by providing relevant and helpful contextual evidence or points that were critical to incorporate. I could notice this overall improvement most noticeably in the way that there didn’t seem to be anyone one or two people only contributing as everyone seemed to have some input. We were able to work through what we were trying to say and clarified our message which we struggled to do at first but effectively did in the end. We figured this out and even had time to chat for a bit which showed to me how many of us all were all on the same page more so now and that we all cared about the importance of the issues addresses in the assignment. This for me showed how much we had progressed even over the course of two days but thankfully didn’t stop there.
Last Wednesday my group was tasked with summarizing the solutions to the issues brought up in collective assignment and although our group started off struggling to narrow down exactly what we would include, by the end of the class we were able to make a great amount of progress. There was a point when we thought we would need more than a page for our solutions but as we warmed to the occasion, we all we all started to collectively agree what our collective message was going to need to and not need to say. I thought it was amazing because by the end of the class so many of us were supporting or adding to other’s inputs that it almost felt like we were finishing each other’s thoughts/sentences. The work was very well distributed during this time too and this just went to show how we all seemed to be on the same page. Looking back at the first class we had on this assignment and now showed a difference that I think we should all be proud of.
It was surprising how effectively and smoothly all of our work was able to come across when we read aloud our final draft today. This to me showed the strides in growth we have been able make as individuals and as a group as a whole. I knew that my groups had better come to think on the same levels but being able to see how we all helped to address the GLOBE learning outcomes and how they pertained to the issues of medical voluntourism was incredible. I thought it was interesting that none of what we had to say seemed choppy and that the only problems we found were a few grammatical errors. The assignment seem read well and effectively which I admired. I also appreciated noticing how the work of others from my group and even myself even made it into this assignment as it showed how we all had a voice in this. There was definitely a learning curve to get over during the first few days of this assignment but as time progressed I think things became markedly better.
Reflecting on it now I think this collective assignment was the best way to end our semester. Working in our groups showed the importance of coming together to address the systemic issues we have in learned about and how we can prevent them from happening better as a group when we work towards a solution. I thought our progression through this assignment as individuals and as a group was amazing and I’m glad I was able to experience it. I think that this assignment will definitely be effective for future study abroad experiences if it is properly shared with students. We should all be proud of how far we have come during this assignment and even this year. Good job guys, it’s been an honor.