The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The horrors of delivering a unit of GCSE certificated coursework that forms 10% of students' final grades, and must be delivered through group work in a mixed ability set.

I decided to be realistic. Explained that a group depends upon its members for its grade. That if they were in a group with students who truant, mess around, or refuse to work to speed, there's a direct dampening of all group memebers' GCSE grade. Asked them if they'd prefer to negotiate their own groupings, or have me decide unilaterally who works with whom.
They voted unanimously for self-selected groups. They select their groups, and inevitably, five students are left alone and quietly staring at their feet, plus another six who are absent.
This means I get to divide up the non-attendees, and the - frankly - more useless of the students, so they're fairly spread.

Cue a long thirty minutes negotiating with well behaved, motivated students, to accept the presence of absentees, idiots, and shirkers.

There are only five video editing suites on which we can create the coursework. No room to do anything else.

There must be a fairer way to do this.