Group Writing

asterix-huge-fight-37036293789The following is an almost literal transcript of a conversation I recently had with a student whose name was not James. I think it shows what often happens when students write in groups.

James: I received a fail mark for the report, while I thought I had done a really good job.

Bob: Oh dear! And what about the rest of your group?

James: They all failed too. Could you tell me what went wrong?

Bob: Of course! I think the problem is Chapter 5, “Concept Generation”.

James: What’s wrong with it?

Bob: Well, let me ask you this. What did you think about its quality?

James: I don’t know. I didn’t write Chapter 5.

Bob: I know you didn’t. And neither did anybody else.

James: Ah …

Bob: And there is another thing. Did you notice that Chapter 4 consists of illustrations only?

James: Ehhh … not really, no. I wrote Chapter 7 you see …

Bob: I do see! And what a wonderful chapter it is. If only the assignment had been to write one chapter each, eh? You would have nailed it!

(Oh, I almost actually said that last bit …)  😉

Author: Bob

Bob’s teaching career started at Nijenrode University, where he taught business English to students dressed either in expensive suits or track gear, who would literally jump in and out of his classroom through the window. Thankfully, it was located on the ground floor. After two years, the quickly growing Netherlands Institute of Tourism and Transport Studies employed him, first as a teacher of English, later as head of the English department. Nine years later, Delft University of Technology, which was dealing with more and more international students, was looking for a skills teacher who could teach in Dutch and in English. Since then, Bob has had the best job a skills teacher can have. He teaches students from all faculties: from Aerospace Engineering to Architecture and everything in between. Bob is head of the English department, he teaches Academic Skills, Intercultural Communication and English as a Foreign Language and he is co-author of Presentation Techniques (isbn 978

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