From group projects to breakout rooms, are they necessary to online learning?


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Group projects allow students to communicate more with each other as most of the social aspect of learning has been taken away due to the pandemic.

As this pandemic urges on, we are continuing to adapt to sudden and unexpected circumstances. Many of us would never have imagined attending school through a computer screen and clicking a button to turn in assignments is far beyond what we anticipated. However, one of the biggest changes we are going through is attending school without social interaction. As a freshman, I was eager to meet new people and reunite with friends I haven’t met with for three years but, the pandemic limited this factor.

Throughout my time in school, I noticed that one of the biggest components to strengthening friendships is through group projects. We learn to work with new people and overcome social boundaries. Therefore, many of my teachers do give class time to work on most of the projects in class even through this pandemic. Thus, it is necessary that all teachers give enough time in class to complete projects. This is especially because teachers often assign more homework on top of the projects causing even more stress. This can cause us to focus more so just on completing assignments rather than utilizing assignments to understand the material thoroughly.

In regards to projects, science labs are no longer done during class. For experiments such as the “Microscope Lab”, we originally were set to use the microscopes in class in order to complete the lab. Due to COVID precautions, we used an online simulation of a microscope instead to conduct the experiment on our own time.

Nevertheless, I believe that all projects should be done in groups rather than independently. By being in groups, we are able to express our thinking out loud and brainstorm with others to come up with the best possible product. Also, being in groups allow us to work with students of various personalities which aid us in establishing team building skill sets.

Due to safety measures, many of us are deprived of the social interaction we would normally receive just from attending school. Thus, even being in Google Meet breakout rooms are very helpful with catching up with friends while completing assignments and projects together.

Furthermore, if class time is given for group projects, we are able to communicate through Google Meet. If more time with the group is necessary, we can easily get in touch by utilizing social media platforms such as Instagram to video chat, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and etc. Since many of us own a phone, we can easily call each other after exchanging numbers during class as well. Communication is not a very big issue as we are advancing quickly in technology and are able to send texts within a second.

In addition, I would prefer projects during this time as they are also a big portion of my grade. Therefore, I feel that some projects can be used to raise my grades especially in the major assessment category. However, it heavily depends on the difficulty of the project and the grading scale.

Projects are a great opportunity to work in groups and maintain bonds with others. Likewise, completing projects is another unique way we can apply our takeaways from lessons. Moreover, while it is significant to be independent, maintaining academic relationships are definitely just as valuable as well.