a thread on pedagogical devices and how (not) to break people 

In the course I'm taking, we were told how some people tend to study in individual ways. Guess what's the most common way to break "that" and make them work in group.

Competitions.

a thread on pedagogical devices and how (not) to break people 

Usually, competitions are done in the last month of the semester (4-month here, imagine the pressure), and are about praxis. The point is to "bring the best out of them" by piting their work against others' and choosing the best one.

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a thread on pedagogical devices and how (not) to break people 

Fear not the arbitrary criteria, timetables, lack of knowledge, etc. Most people with common sense will tell you this will not end up well.

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a thread on pedagogical devices and how (not) to break people 

Indeed, when I looked up some references in my university, turns out there were documented trials in the '00s.

Courses that implemented this ended up with worse results, because students are:
- not being able to share ideas (if they do, they lose the credits)
- going to extreme lengths to not share ideas
- reinventing the wheel a gazillion times

a thread on pedagogical devices and how (not) to break people 

In the extreme cases, I found that students broke down because they couldn't get the help they needed, or because they are psychologically pressured to perform in public.

(I remember someone posted an article on quizzing students randomly, and this happened a lot with queer students. Can't find the reference right now.)

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a thread on pedagogical devices and how (not) to break people 

This was all triggered because I saw this post of lynne about christmas as a competition, and I remembered how we all snapped at the professor of Computer Graphics when the course ended.
Unclear expectations, shitty support, and blatantly biased selection that I was able to publicly point out. Thankfully, the prof is now on the way out, but their cohort remains...

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a thread on pedagogical devices and how (not) to break people 

I wonder, why doing this? Why forcing students to comply to the stereotype of group work? Why cannot they work cooperatively in the classroom, as opposed to groups pitted against each other?

/end

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