My first major group collaboration in biology was for my LIFE STEM research class freshman year, where we worked in a group of three to deliver a presentation about the research we conducted at the Chesapeake Bay. This was a highly successful group dynamic because we were excellent at communicating and everyone pulled their weight. The best groups I have been in included very open communication so that we were all on the same page. Another successful project I’ve had with collaboration was for my toxicology class where we had to discuss a toxin related disaster. This was the same as the above presentation, however I do remember that for this project, we had some issues with understanding some concepts, and so we had numerous additional meetings to figure out the situation, which immediately got resolved. This underscored the importance of communication in a group for me.
One of the more unsuccessful groups I’ve been apart of was for my BIOL 366 class. We were randomly put in these groups. The group members and I exchanged numbers and I remember never actually meeting them. I still have no idea who they are because all we did was briefly text. While the final paper turned out ok, it wasn’t as cohesive as it should’ve been because there was very limited communication happening.
I think these collaboration skills I’ve learned throughout my college classes are extremely important because once I get a job, almost everything will involve collaboration. Especially if I get into field work, communication is so crucial because data collection and analysis is very often done as a group. I fully understand why group collaboration has been such a present component in my biology classes.