Question: In design school, how often did you do group projects? Did you like it? Hate it? Wanted to do it more? Less? Also for group design projects, should instructors assign groups or let students choose their own?

most of the time i really didn't enjoy it. this year i have only done one "group" project and it was with one other person. =)

Mike Garrett
50/50, I'd say. The problem always came down to priorities. Some didn't prioritize the class the same as others == uneven workload

Stephanie Heikkila
close to never. I didnt like it to much, we had one class project that was almost a disaster because no one could agree on anything

Sarah Savage
We did group projects frequently @ PennDesign. Time constraints could be difficult, but the collaborative skills are so important!

Brennan Letkeman
We do almost all of our design projects in groups. Some like, some hate, but I think it forces you to get over that; teamwork=good.

Claire Kearns
A fair few times. I hated it almost every time. Seemed I just got lumbered with all the work and then people got rewarded :/ I once did an animation with 2 other girls. Or rather I did the animating, the compiling and post production. Got no sleep all week. One of them then had the nerve to say she didn't think I was gonna turn up. I was running on fumes and just wanted to punch her

would've been nice,often groups would dissipate,someone would not deliver,stop attending... tandems worked better,groups rarely.

Gem Davis
We do quite a lot of group projects. While it can at times be annoying, I think its useful to learn how to work with others.

Stephan Rosger
I did them quite a bit. As long as the instructor had thought through and took the time to prepare the assignment it was good...

Esin Gurani
our last month was all about group projects, i personally like interacting wit others + converging our styles & working wit someone

Matilda SM
The few I did I HATED, but we were forced into groups so there was lots of clashing. I'd love it if I had chosen collaborators!

not very often but there's always one person that doesn't want to do anything..

I hated them as a student, but took that hatred & made group projects that students loved when I taught. All about assigning roles. Many teachers think group projects = less grading. Done well, they are actually much more work to manage. And they must be managed!

Kristy T.
also with group projects more in class time to work on it, so there is less schedule conflicts

Stephan Rosger
@followsprocess That's what I was saying. If the instructors don't think it through properly and try to wing it, it really sucks

Pander Chan
1to3 group projects p/year, depending on the class. It's good to have another point of view but it takes a lot of your time.ihateit

Nikki Thayer
when I was lucky enough to get a partner with something to contribute I found the process immensely valuable. usually it was just me doing 3 people's work though

Mary Brueggemann
it can be fun to work with others on projects. You learn about others' design styles and learn how to make those work together.

Anna Schmunk
I did two group design projects. A valuable experience, but no guidance from the prof. I wish we had more projects like that.

Anna Schmunk
@Rosger I think that's how most group projects are. No clear expectations. I wish profs would put better guidelines out there.

Jesse Sison
did a handful of group projects. Some were fun, the others I pretty much did all the work due to being paired with slackers

Stephan Rosger
@AiJahya Yeah. I think some instructors think that group projects = "students should figure guidelines out themselves as a team"

Anna Schmunk
@Rosger in an ideal world, that would work. But when u have 2 weeks to get something printed, "figuring it out" doesn't always work

Anna Schmunk
@Rosger a big part of the group mentality then becomes who is accountable for what? Which means that you design less and argue more

Erin Pedati
Not very often...I would say most of us preferred to work solo. It really would depend on the dynamic of the group.

Erin Wormsbecker
I do group projects often at ECU. It's great when ur w/ ppl who wanna excel, otherwise painful! Group work is reality 4 designers.

Ange Tank
@followsprocess how do we do that? #design #groupprojects

@angetank Survey students, assign roles, have students write contracts to each other, actively manage teams, etc... #groupprojects

Stephan Rosger
Instructors should always assign groups. Break up the cliques and help students work with different personality types.

Claire Kearns
Erm... thats a hard one. Instructors picking mixes things up, but can also mean you get the time wasters.

I have had much better luck assigning groups rather then letting them self-select.. There is literature showing that self-selected groups produce higher output in conceptual, and assigned groups excel in production.

Jason Pamental
I think that the instructor should assign, weighing relative strengths & social. Better chance 4 students to help each other grow.

teacher should chose, you have to learn to work with different teams, like in real life

Grey Cremer
RT One of my favorite things about teaching is helping to create creators. #teach

Assign groups. They’ll learn more if they branch out. They’ll become more empathic, less xenophobic. Deterritorialization. Open up. If they choose their own groups they’ll stick with the same safe people, which is stultifying. Jar them out.

Anna Schmunk
I know that when I was a student, I only worked with my friends. Assigning groups takes that out of the equation.

Mark Forscher
instructors should assign. Part of working in the real world is getting along with people you don't always get to hand pick.

Anna Schmunk
The discussions brings up makes me reconsider grad school and teaching design. Oh to influence young minds... hmm...

Stephan Rosger
@AiJahya Taking the friend thing further, I would even go as far as changing the seating arrangement of the class 3x year or so students get attached to their neighbors, and often rarely engage with others further away unless it's initiated

Anna Schmunk
@Rosger You may make people angry, but you'll have far less cliques. I wish my class knew how to talk to each other in college. It would've made critiques far easier if we had been forced to interact outside of our normal cliques interaction would've been far less pained and we could've been more open about what we thought abt the work presented.

G Guschke
Didn't do any, unfortunately. I wish the program had given us at least 1 opportunity.

Joshua Reach
as a recent grad, I preferred a fair group when it came to projects. But instructors should really know the students vs slackers.

G Guschke
Assign, and hopefully create a good mix of personalities and skill areas.

Stephan Rosger
@jdotreach Very true. There's always a committed and slacking group. I admit being on both ends, and mixing them helped me.

morry galonoy
@garbnzgh totally agree Mark!

Joshua Reach
@Rosger same here! An even mix of the two totally helps both sides.

morry galonoy
90% of the time my students ask me to pick if I give them a choice. I try to mix it up when more than one group project.

Ange Tank
@followsprocess I think the biggest thing is having students expect to work in groups from the outset of the course.

Victor Jack Mathieux
Instructors should assign groups. Learning to work with people that have different perspectives from our own is part of the value.

Ange Tank
@followsprocess In addition to those other management tactics, of course.

student's choice. we're past the point of being the last kid left in gym class, and we know what people we can work with the best.

Emily Woudenberg
choose them. I think when prof. choose its easy to blame others for a lackluster project.however Group work=drama

Brennan Letkeman
Choose their own all the way!

Kristy T.
teachers should pick. i remember being friends with ppl who i thought weren't great designers, it was always pressure to be in the group with them because we were friends.... :( although i had no desire to work with them on actual school work

Nicholas McMillan
I think by assigning groups you introduce the unfamiliar to the student; something they will undoubtedly face after graduating.

Sam K
@ntmcmillan I think that's a great point. I still have seniors complain about it and we owe them a honest real world experience.

We didn't have a group project until our senior year, and it was a massive project. The instructor chose the groups, but our activities and output was self-directed. It was beneficial to work in a group but it was challenging to say the least. Every group in our class had one weak member (and from what I'm told, this is typical even in non-design situations). I would like to work in groups more because I think it's great preparation for the working world to come after school. However, there needs to be a system in place that holds all members accountable equally.

David Ramos
I've learned that some kinds of projects, (campaigns or interaction + dev) are only possible w groups. Need time + multiple skills. Group projects are most interesting when the members of the group bring different skills and interests. Less valuable otherwise.

Katherine Bonnin
always assign random groups. If anything it teaches how to work together with diverse people. It's the most realistic.

Amber Vittoria
I have never been in a group project in my design courses since I have started college. I wish we would try at least one; everyone in my program has a brilliant mind, and it would be interesting to see what came out of two or more minds coming together and creating something.