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My Role As a Group Member

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I used to believe that I did not perform very well in groups. I am an observer who likes to learn alone. I thought I learned best when I worked on my own. Even though I always knew group work had many positive values, I was more comfortable with the lecture-based approach and resisted group work merely because it involved change, not because it had a collaborative learning approach. However, during the learning community project, I came to realize that I learn more effectively when I work in groups. Working in a group was like an adventure for me; there were both exciting and challenging times while preparing for the learning community project.

The original research question our group came up with was “How can an individual influence a learning community to better support learning?” After the discussion in class, however, we decided to change our research question to “How can learning be improved through learning communities?” When we conducted research in the library and found many compelling articles, we realized that we had chosen a good research question. We decided to present our information on the social learning theory, key components on learning, and the benefits of a learning community. My focus was on the benefits of learning communities. I found many articles that focused on the benefits of learning communities, and the reviewing of other students’ Annotated Bibliographies helped me to get a better idea about the benefits of a learning community as well. The presentation by itself was not challenging enough, so we decided to play a game; in that way, everybody in the class could participate and actually could walk away with new knowledge. Each group member came up with three questions on our topics, and those question...

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...provided the motivation and encouragement I needed to overcome difficulties in my academic life. Most importantly, I discovered that I learn more effectively when I work in small learning communities. Thanks to the learning community project, I was able to isolate the most effective ways that I learn best. In taking this class I not only learned about how to use the research facilities that are available at Marylhurst, and how to access my map, but also about myself and what it takes to be a learner at the university level. This class pressed me to learn so many things about myself and this is what made this course such an excellent learning opportunity. I also think I am now prepared for the rest of the Marylhurst curriculum. I feel that this class has helped me to overcome my fears, and that I now feel computable and confidence in the Marylhurst academic setting.
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