Focus Group #1 Transcription

Focus Group #1 Transcription

For our first focus group, we interviewed five students in total. First, we asked participants about their previous efforts with group work and whether their experiences had been positive or negative experiences. Everyone answered negative, with some explanations being quite passionate. We also asked students if they had much success in group work, as well as if their overall grade in a class had been enhanced or suffered due to a group project. Students had mixed responses, with most saying they had not had great success with these projects. One interviewee stated a single bad group project brought his B in a class down to a C, which made him furious. When asked if the students thought of themselves as the “workhorses” of a group project, most answered yes. Some stated their grade was saved by their own doing. Others explained they had a great deal of trouble delegating responsibilities to peers. We asked students if they had utilized Google Docs for collaboration in the past. The response to this question was surprising, with over a half of the interviewees answering “no,” and many not even knowing such a collaboration tool existed. Finally, we asked interviewees if resources for group projects be helpful in future group work, such as task checklists or video tutorials. Every applicant responded “yes,” with some asking why such resources were not available now.

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Interviewee One

Interviewer: What has your previous experience with group work been like?

Interviewee: *Laughs* um, I always do all the work. Or it’s awkward because you don’t know people, and there’s that feeling like, “you have to do this.” You’re not willing, you know?

Interviewer: Overall, have you had positive or negative experiences with group projects?

Interviewee: Negative.

Interviewer: Have you had much success in group work? Has your overall grade in a class been enhanced or suffered due to a group project?

Interviewee: Not really. I guess my grade is enhanced, because I always make sure it gets done right.

Interviewer: Have you ever thought of yourself as the “workhorse” of a group project – someone who has been forced to conduct most of the work in a project?

Interviewee: Yes. Like I said, I generally do all the work.

Interviewer: How have you performed group work in the past? For example, have you utilized Google Docs for collaboration?

Interviewee: No… Google Docs? I mean I’ve used Google, but never in group work. I’ve used a Prezi, but I was solo.

Interviewer: Would resources for group projects be helpful in future group work? For instance, would you utilize a task checklist with a group if it was provided on a website?

Interviewee: Yes. I would use a task checklist for sure. And tutorials for Google Docs would help, because I’m sure someone in the group will have no idea what they’re doing.

Interviewee Two

Interviewer: What has your previous experience with group work been like?

Interviewee: A lot of times it ends up where not everybody has a job to do. You have a group, you have a group project, and everybody has to do it, but it’s like no one really takes initiative. And you always have that one who doesn’t do anything, and that other who does all the work. Everyone is kind of waiting on that one person to do all the work and lead the group. Usually everyone is doing minimal work and no one wants to meet up to work.

Interviewer: Overall, have you had positive or negative experiences with group projects?

Interviewee: Mostly toward the negative side. There have been a couple positive experiences, but only a couple.

Interviewer: Have you had much success in group work? Has your overall grade in a class been enhanced or suffered due to a group project?

Interviewee: I wouldn’t say my grade has suffered, but it hasn’t been enhanced. Usually unless someone really steps up and takes over it’s just a mediocre grade, like a low B or high C. Just something good enough to get by.

Interviewer: Have you ever thought of yourself as the “workhorse” of a group project – someone who has been forced to conduct most of the work in a project?

Interviewee: I don’t think that’s ever happened to me. There have been a couple times where me and another person have taken on the project, but it’s never been just me. I’m not going to be the one who takes on the leadership position. *laughs* That’s not me.

Interviewer: How have you performed group work in the past? For example, have you utilized Google Docs for collaboration?

Interviewee: I didn’t even know Google Docs had a collaboration feature. It’s always been email for me, which is really confusing. Someone may not send an email, and someone may not see it. It’s always like you have to find some time to meet up, which usually isn’t that productive. You just sit around a table working on one thing, and you all can’t work on that same one.

Interviewer: Would resources for group projects be helpful in future group work? For instance, would you utilize a task checklist with a group if it was provided on a website?

Interviewee: Definitely. I think that would be a great thing. If you know what all you had done and what has to be done on a checklist would be really good. It would eliminate a lot of scheduling stress and confusion.

Interviewee Three

Interviewer: What has your previous experience with group work been like?

Interviewee: Pretty terrible. Especially when there isn’t really anyone you know in your project. So you have to work with a bunch of random people. Whenever I’m in a group project, I try to pick the most responsible looking people to work with.

Interviewer: Overall, have you had positive or negative experiences with group projects?

Interviewee: Mostly negative.

Interviewer: Have you had much success in group work? Has your overall grade in a class been enhanced or suffered due to a group project?

Interviewee: The last group project I had to do was last Spring in a class I didn’t even have to take. Luckily, I had a friend in there to work with, because we ended up doing all the work in the project. We all got assigned a grade over the project as a whole, which I thought was pretty dumb. Anyways, we ended up getting a 74% on that, which dropped my overall grade to a C. I feel like the level of work I put in at least earned me a B, but that project really was the reason for that grade.

Interviewer: Have you ever thought of yourself as the “workhorse” of a group project – someone who has been forced to conduct most of the work in a project?

Interviewee: Most of the time. Especially when I’m working with friends of mine. When I’m working with people I don’t know, I tend to hang back and see if someone else will take charge. If you take the leadership role, you’re basically saying, ‘I’m going to all of the work.’

Interviewer: How have you performed group work in the past? For example, have you utilized Google Docs for collaboration?

Interviewee: Yeah, we used Google Docs in that last project, and it worked out. We all put our portions in on the paper to make sure nobody did the same work as others. Most of the time, I just meet up with people in the library or something.

Interviewer: Would resources for group projects be helpful in future group work? For instance, would you utilize a task checklist with a group if it was provided on a website?

Interviewee: Yes and yes, because that sets guidelines for stuff. Makes perfect sense.

Interviewee Four

Interviewer: What has your previous experience with group work been like?

Interviewee: I hate group projects with a passion. I didn’t like them in high school, and I really don’t like them in college. I understand group work is necessary in future career fields, but good God I hate them.

Interviewer: Overall, have you had positive or negative experiences with group projects?

Interviewee: *Laughs* I guess I just answered that, didn’t I? Yeah, negative. Always negative. Now I will say, some of my closest friends have come out of group work. Honestly, though, I think that is only because we unite over a common enemy, you know?

Interviewer: Have you had much success in group work? Has your overall grade in a class been enhanced or suffered due to a group project?

Interviewee: I mean, I’ve had success, but it’s never come easy. Generally, I try to make sure my grade doesn’t suffer due to a bad group project, but a lot of times professors lump a whole grade into one project and it brings everyone down. Though I’ve never failed a class due to a group project, so that’s the silver lining.

Interviewer: Have you ever thought of yourself as the “workhorse” of a group project – someone who has been forced to conduct most of the work in a project?

Interviewee: Pretty much always. That’s usually by my own doing, I have to be honest. I like things done a certain way, and I have a bad habit of taking over and forgetting to delegate.

Interviewer: How have you performed group work in the past? For example, have you utilized Google Docs for collaboration?

Interviewee: Ever since I learned about Google Docs, I’ve used it in group work. I commute to school, so a lot of times a single Doc saves me a lot of trips back and forth to campus for group work. Plus people don’t always show. It’s a lot easier to say, ‘hey, check the doc,’ than, ‘hey, let’s meet at Starbucks.’

Interviewer: Would resources for group projects be helpful in future group work? For instance, would you utilize a task checklist with a group if it was provided on a website?

Interviewee: A task checklist would be awesome. Like I said, I struggle to delegate. Something like that would really go a long way in my projects.

Interviewee Five

Interviewer: What has your previous experience with group work been like?

Interviewee: My previous experience with group work has been negative overall. It seems like every time I am forced to work in a group with partners that I did not get to choose, it never goes well. 

Interviewer: Overall, have you had positive or negative experiences with group projects?

Interviewee: Like I said, mostly negative. Everyone is always shy or nervous and doesn’t want to open up to each other. Although, if I am in a group of people I do know or I get to pick my partners, it seems to go smoother.

Interviewer: Have you had much success in group work? Has your overall grade in a class been enhanced or suffered due to a group project?

Interviewee: I have had some success with group work. Sometimes everyone is willing to do their part and help each other and the whole project goes well. I don’t think my grade has ever been enhanced or suffered from group work enough to actually make a difference in the class overall.

Interviewer: Have you ever thought of yourself as the “workhorse” of a group project – someone who has been forced to conduct most of the work in a project?

Interviewee: I have only thought of myself as a “workhouse” for one project in the past. I ended up doing most of the work because the other two people in my group were simply lazy so I did all the work to keep us from getting a bad grade.

Interviewer: How have you performed group work in the past? For example, have you utilized Google Docs for collaboration?

Interviewee: In the past I have mostly just met with my group in person to get our project done. I have utilized google docs before and it seems to work a lot better than anything else.

Interviewer: Would resources for group projects be helpful in future group work? For instance, would you utilize a task checklist with a group if it was provided on a website?

Interviewee: Yes, resources for future group work would be very helpful. I would utilize a group checklist if I could find one on a website. I have never thought to look for one but it seems like that would keep everyone on track with what they are responsible for.

 

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