Rehman et al.43
The above results suggest us to argue that the most ongoing small group work at IER include students’ creativity that allows them to work in multiple ways in examining an issue. As well, this may also allows them to reach to more than one answer to a particular task.
Participation of Group Members
All members equally participate
All members participate, but the participation is not equal
One member takes most of the responsibilities
Some members do not participate at all
Student Participation. Data in Table 6 show the ongoing practice of students’ participation in small group activity in IER.
The majority of the students (60.6%) opine that every member in a group tends to participate, however their participation is not equal. While, a considerable number of students (19.2%) experienced that all the members participated equally, some (14.2%) founds that there are some students who do not participate at all. These results indicate that students often do not participate equally in their group work, which does not ensure individual’s accountability after Johnson and Johnson (1999). This trend is also more or less similar to what we experienced in our student life.
Students’ participation in a group may include how they take part in the group discussion. A variety of practices among students is found in this regard. Students’ responses reveal that in some cases, each and every group member discusses separately (7.6%), while sometimes one member discusses with the assistance of others (11.5%). However, in most cases (78.4%), one member presents the main theme and then the discussion progresses. Students’ ideas are co-constructed through such a discussion. The above findings reflect that in some cases, students like to be involved in symmetric interaction with collaborative and adversarial mode. However most of the students’ participation in group discussion promoted them to be involving in asymmetric interaction that is consistent with our experiences of group work.
We also intended to know what things students considered when group discussion proceeds. The majority of the students (70.65%) consider that group discussion mostly extensive and relevant with the task. A small number of students (16.15%) consider the equal participation from the group members. These considerations of the students reveal that the nature of students’ interactions in a group mostly encourages mutuality as suggested by Demon and Phelps (1989).
Students’ perspectives on assessment of group activities were also explored within this study. Most of the students (81%) opine that student’s individual contribution should be counted in conjunction with group performance. However, some other (19%) opines that group assessment should be solely based on group performance. These findings also concur with our experiences what lead to students’ dissatisfaction after getting a single grade for a group task.
Students were asked to visualize the best roles of the group members that can render a task successful. Most of the students (45.8%) visualize the role of group members in a group of four people as follows:
Member 1: will communicate, lead the group and collect references