How you found the group process:

[Julie] I really enjoyed it , everyone listened to and respected one another which made any issues or disagreements easily resolved, probably because of this mutual respect there weren’t any major issues.

[Joanne] It was a great experience to see our different ideas and personalities work together on this project and the technology helped us connect as much as possible. But if possible, I would not do an online project again, as I think this project would have been much better in person.

[Imelda]   As we could not meet in-person, all our conversations and decision-making were via online meetings.  I feel that this worked better than I would have anticipated as we ensured that each person’s contribution was valued and considered.  As such, group participation worked very well and we communicated by email in between meetings.  a

[Grace] Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the process of the group project had to be done remotely. I think this worked well as we were able to find suitable times that worked for all of us.

Did you use any “Group Work Theories” to frame how you worked together?

[Julie] There was no intentional framing or actions to determine who would do what – within the group the roles were balanced between thought, action and people orientated members.

[Imelda]  Our roles in the Group were not rigid to incorporate a Facilitator, Recorder, Presenter, or Timekeeper – each person participated equally, with ideas, concepts, solutions, and feedback. 

What challenges emerged for the group and how did you deal with them?

[Julie] Having to do everything online was more time consuming than meeting in person.. As none of us had experience in documentary making it was hard to be scriptwriter, director, editor etc.

[Grace]  The challenges we faced were coming up with a focused narrative for the documentary script. It was also difficult to write the script collaboratively as we had to do it individually rather than as a team.

[Imelda]  Yes, there were unforeseen challenges that emerged at different stages of the project.  Sometimes, we had to re-think our processes and how the dialogue in the script would be if we were to film the documentary.  Trying to visualise the four individual scripts and how they would become one script was not an easy concept.  We also needed to keep in mind the local / global links, how the topics related to the SDGs, how to begin the script as well as coming up with a conclusion.

[Joanne]  The project had challenges in different areas, such as the technological, but also the uncertainty of what was actually asked of us for this project. This contributed to unnecessary stress within the group. But no one could have expected how the pandemic would affect this, and the confusion is solely based upon this uncontrollable variant.

What went well?

[Julie] I think we all worked really well together, everyone was respectful towards one another by listening to what we had to say and no one dominated the conversations or decision making process.

[Joanne] In my opinion we had some great teamwork going on and the workshop with Peadar King went well. It helped us to bring our documentation on the right track. Our independent research also added so much to our project. 

What lessons did you learn from the group process?

[Julie]  I learned that you can’t be too wedded to a particular idea as others in the group may want something different.  There’s a balance of keeping to what is important to the individual without detracting from the overall wishes of the group.

[Joanne] I learned that compromise is the A and O of every group work and that using the different personalities and ideas everyone has to bring it into the project, instead of working against each other. Every person has something to contribute to a project and everyone’s opinion must be respected.

[Grace]  I learned that time management and organization is extremely important when working collaboratively. It is important to break down the project into manageable tasks for each person to contribute to.

[Imelda]   From the outset the group dynamic was warm and welcoming – this was vital as we did not know each other.  We were respectful of each person’s contribution, meetings did not feel rushed, more importantly they did not go off topic and ended with agreement on tasks to be completed (before the next meeting).  Good communication was key to our success!

What action did you take for this project?

[Julie] We scripted a short documentary to highlight the issues. The most impactful action would have been to actually make the documentary but this was impossible due to Covid restrictions. We also did a presentation to our class on the documentary.

[Joanne] I personally wrote the original idea for the recycling part of the script. Including the importance of recycling mobile phones. Such as the consequences of irresponsible recycling of mobile phones.

[Grace]  Each member of the group had a scene to write for the documentary script which was based on a topic surrounding sustainability and e-waste.

[Imelda]   I was given ‘Mobile phone repair’ to work on and I undertook research online as well as going to some repair shops in the city.  The script I wrote incorporated both and my script shows how easy it can be to repair phones.  Preparing slides for the presentation was a very different task and I felt I had more freedom to convey how easy it is to repair phones, instead of just buying a new mobile phone – slides are visual and it was easy to incorporate my research.

Evaluation of the work you did:

[Julie] I really enjoyed working with the group and overall I’m happy with what we did. Although we didn’t assign roles to anyone and it worked out well, I can now see how useful that could be within a group.

[Joanne] I think the group as a whole really worked well together. I personally think that the work I did worked out well. I learned a lot about the environment and how it impacts social situations all around the globe. This project helped me with my Teamwork skills in a way that a  solitary project never could.

[Imelda]  I enjoyed undertaking research on new topics and sharing ideas with the group.

[Grace]  I think that the work I completed for this group project was beneficial as I was able to build on existing skills such as time management, organisation, teamwork, communication, and creative writing. The documentary workshops introduced new concepts to me such as applying to funding  and reviewing documentaries