What has this group project taught us? First, we discuss several of the struggles we experienced as a group, followed by a reflection on the positive aspects of our teamwork, and finally, we analyze what could be done better in the future.
Our group experienced a bit of a rocky start, as we realized that our literature reviews from period 1 were all very different. This made it difficult for us to find common ground and agree on a topic that would connect our individual blog entries. Overcoming this hurdle took quite a bit of organizing to schedule extra brainstorming sessions and involved a lot of negotiating, creativity and compromises, which in the end did successfully lead to an agreement on an overarching topic.
Organizing meetings was our next main struggle. Considering the workload of other courses, our many extracurricular activities and the pandemic situation, it was sometimes difficult for us to agree on a time to meet. We would have enjoyed meeting up more, especially in person. However, we always ended up in a meeting when necessary, leading to around four team meetings online. Furthermore, meeting up online partly impacted the dynamics of our discussions.
Another aspect that required some effort was finding a suitable title for our blog. As our supervisor pointed out, the original title we chose could be interpreted in the wrong way. We agreed with this, but finding a new suitable title, that was still attractive for readers, was a challenge. These were the main aspects we struggled with as a group; however, all of them were also collectively dealt with and solved as a team.
As stated before, we worked hard together to find a suitable overarching topic for our blog. Furthermore, we asked our supervisor for feedback and confirmation. We believe it is important to ask questions – to each other, other peers and supervisors and we are happy that we took this initiative. Furthermore, we were able to collectively make time in our schedules and to truly make time for this team. Our extra meetings were always productive and really benefited the consistency and creativity of our blog. Generally, we enjoyed trying to be creative with our blog. This led us to take group pictures, individual pictures, set up a social media account, and think of creative titles. It also made us bond as a group in a less formal environment. We were also open to each other and even when we did not meet up online or in person, we kept in touch via WhatsApp and gave each other feedback there.
Since this was our first attempt at publishing our own academic blog, we definitely have more experience now and next time we could be more efficient in terms of technicalities. However, regarding the group spirit in learning how to write blog entries, we helped each other out, communicated our concerns well and that made it easier to find suitable solutions. In the future, we could spend some more time giving feedback on each other’s entries as well, as we now focused more on teamwork in the context of our joint sections and giving feedback on other groups’ work.
Overall, we believe we formed a productive team and we are happy with the result of our collective work.