Reflection on our Group Work

From the left side to the right side: Charlène, Vincent, Julien, Kilian

What challenges did we face?

As one can imagine, working as a group does not only bring benefits but can also be quite challenging. In this regard, during the few weeks dedicated to the realization of the blog, we were confronted with several organizational issues that had to be managed collectively. This included accommodating the different schedules and the uncertain conditions given the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, since it was the first time we wrote a blog of that kind, we could not rely on any prior experience. This inexperience led, especially in the beginning, to minor technical issues that were settled rather quickly. Furthermore, the creative process of making a meaningful contribution as a group represented a more significant issue. In that respect, it was particularly challenging to find a coherent bottom-line and an underlying structure for our blog and the individual blog posts.

What did we gain from working as a group?

As mentioned above, it was tricky to select a broad topic for our blog, encompassing each of our literature reviews. However, as soon as we managed to find our general theme – namely historical and contemporary perspectives on the correlation between globalization and the rise of far-right parties – it became self-evident to divide the workload and the different tasks we had to accomplish. A crucial element that helped us find our blog common theme is that all four of us took the time to thoroughly read respective literature reviews. Indeed, understanding and mastering the different topics discussed was a prerequisite to elaborate our blog and find a common thread. Most importantly, the group dynamic was irreproachable. Everyone was equally involved and put a lot of effort into their individual and collective tasks. We were also able to give each other efficient and constructive feedback. Another essential factor is constructively acknowledging feedback, without ever reacting negatively. Finally, when a specific concern or a technical issue arose, we always mutually supported and encouraged ourselves. Our team managed to achieve a very pleasant and friendly spirit, although always hard-working and serious.

What do we suggest for upcoming group work?

During our group work, we realized what works well and what does not. For the sake of upcoming projects, we want to emphasize that an early start is crucial to the success of group work because there are always difficulties within a group to find a common schedule. The usage of clear deadlines helps to finalize everything in due time. Given the current epidemiological situation, we were rather lucky to meet physically since we consider in-person interactions to be much more productive than virtual interactions. We thus highly recommend to future students of this course to meet in person, obviously if the sanitary situation permits. Furthermore, we suggest evenly splitting the group tasks to ensure a balanced workload for every group member. Finally, having an efficient way of communication to share various information is also fundamental. As far as we are concerned, we used WhatsApp, which proved to be an efficient platform for our internal communication.