Forcing Disruption in b‐Learning Workgroups


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Sometimes, it may be desirable to promote the disruption of established workgroups in order to promote the students’ ability to work with different persons, working conditions, and leadership styles. We describe the impact of different techniques to promote the disruption of workgroups in b-learning contexts. The results show that the groups tend to keep unchanged, even if they are not working properly and that a non-sense game and a technique of creation of groups based on common interests can provoke healthy disruptions in the existing groups, promote the creation of new groups without installing conflicts, and increase the students’ motivation. The results of our study are useful for teachers and trainers who promote workgroups in their courses and are interested in improving their students’ motivation with their workgroups and in helping the students work with different groups and develop behavioral skills.

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Forcing Disruption in b‐Learning Workgroups

  1. 1. Forcing  Disrup=on  in  b-­‐Learning  Workgroups   Paper presented at the 5th International Conference of Education, Research, and Innovation (ICERI) Madrid, November, 19-21, 2012 Rosário  Cação   15  de  Setembro  de  2012  
  2. 2. Forcing  Disrup=on  in  b-­‐Learning  Workgroups   Paper presented at the 5th International Conference of Education, Research, and Innovation (ICERI) Madrid, November, 19-21, 2012 Rosário  Cação   15  de  Setembro  de  2012  
  3. 3. Forcing  disrup=on 2011/07/ChangeAhead.jpg-­‐  Somemes,  it  may  be  helpful  to  promote  a  smooth  disrupon  of  exisng  groups  and  the  creaon  of  new  groups    -­‐  Forcing  the  students  to  change  groups  can  help  develop  and  deploy  a  set  of  competences  that  the  labor  market  values  
  4. 4. Working  as  a  group   (+)  Take  advantage  of  different  abilies,   backgrounds,  and  interests     (-­‐)  A  group  takes  me  and  effort:  it  requires   interacon,  movaon  towards  a  shared   goal,  adaptaon,  and  balance  of  individual   needs  and  styles  
  5. 5. It  is  not  the  strongest,  nor  the  most  intelligent,  of  the  species  that  survives,  but   the  one  that  is  the  most  adaptable  to   change  (Megginson,  1963)   Conflicts  and  change  are  part  of  the   development  process  of  a  group  and  are   inevitable  
  6. 6. The  disrup=on  of  a  group     can  be  good  and  desirable  Purpose:    Understand  the  impact  of  a  pedagogical  strategy  in  provoking  the  disrupon  of  workgroups  and  the  creaon  of  new  ones    
  7. 7. Research  Ques=ons  Q1: If no rules are given, do workgroups tend to emerge based on physicalproximity and social relations between the individuals?Q2: Do workgroups tend to stabilize in terms of their members, even if theyare not working properly?Q3: Is it possible to provoke a disruption of the workgroups and the re-creation of new groups, without imposing that change or creating conflicts?Q4: Do the individuals appreciate being exposed to different colleagues,working styles, and leadership styles, even if they had intended to keepworking with their initial group?Q5: Can nonsense and useless techniques provoke group changes as wellas pedagogically sound techniques provoke, at least for short-term tasks?
  8. 8. Laisser-­‐       •  “Shall  we  work  together?”   -­‐fair   •  “May  I  join  you?”   approach   Techniques •  Ice  breaking  game   •  Senseless,  foolish,  and  used to create Lollypop   childish   and disrupt approach   the groups •  Based  on  common  working   interests   MiniOST  
  9. 9. Strategy   Check on Laisser-faire group conflicts, approach changes and Reflection consolidation F2F1   F2F2   F2F3   F2F4   F2F5              First  week   Second  week   Third  week   Forth  week   FiQh  week   Lollypop MiniOST Online approach approach interaction
  10. 10. Results  The  crea=on  of  the   The  consolida=on   The  lollypop  effect   The  MiniOST   first  group   of  the  groups   disrup=on   •  The group was a result of a coincidence •  Clues from the presentations made online during the first week •  Emergent social relations •  Physical proximity •  Entering the room together and the number of available seats were considered strong influences to the creation of the groups •  Difficulty in recalling how the group was created
  11. 11. Results  The  crea=on  of  the   The  consolida=on   The  lollypop  effect   The  MiniOST   first  group   of  the  groups   disrup=on   •  Stability: •  Groups working well •  Social relations •  No need to change: no major problems inside the group •  Signs of conflits and decrease of motivation •  Resistance to change: •  “A group is like a pill. You have to take it. Period” •  Affraid of hurting the colleagues’ feelings
  12. 12. Results  The  crea=on  of  the   The  consolida=on   The  lollypop  effect   The  MiniOST   first  group   of  the  groups   disrup=on   •  Opportunistic collaboration: “All I needed was an extra hand, not a genius” •  Expressive group changes •  “An healthy change” •  An opportunity to make a “discrete” group change •  Positive impact on motivation
  13. 13. Results  The  crea=on  of  the   The  consolida=on   The  lollypop  effect   The  MiniOST   first  group   of  the  groups   disrup=on   •  Severe group changes •  Awareness of that changes and emotional goodbye to old groups •  Welcomed but not expected change
  14. 14. Conclusions  Groups tended to keep unchanged even if there were conscious signs ofproblems inside the group and even if some participants would prefer tochange groups.If no rule is imposed, the physical proximity and the social relations betweenthe individuals determine the constitution of the group. These criteria lead tounchanged, yet sometimes conflicting groups.A game, apparently played just for fun, has helped the participants feelcomfortable to make the group changes they were willing.Both the lollypop game and the MiniOST provoked disruption and groupchanges, without increasing conflicts or provoking a sense of imposedchange.A succession of disruptions may not create conflicts or a succession ofstormy stages and can increase the students’ motivation.
  15. 15. Forcing  Disrup=on  in  b-­‐Learning  Workgroups   Slides available at Rosário  Cação