All material within the Journal of Research for Educational Leaders, unless otherwise noted, may be distributed freely for educational purposes. Copyright © 2008 - The University of Iowa College of Education. Published in Journal of Research for Educational Leaders, Volume 4, Issue 2, Spring April 1, 2008, pages 4-16. Also available online at: http://www.education.uiowa.edu/jrel/Petersen_0701.htm
For many disciplines, students are required to learn to work collaboratively in groups and to perform team-based activities such as brainstorming, collaborative problem solving, and cooperative decision-making. To support the learning of such team-based processes, many university courses require students to engage in short “group challenges.” These challenges often comprise in-class experiences in which students form small teams and attempt to solve a simulated problem of practice. Upon completion of the challenge, students are usually asked to reflect upon their experiences and to evaluate their group dynamics, their collective time management, and other factors that might have contributed to the success and/or failure of the team effort. A common problem is students, like most people, are generally poor at self-reflection and have a difficult time objectively assessing their personal behavior as well as the behavior of their group. To address this problem, time-lapse video has been employed as a novel pedagogical intervention for enhancing student reflection in group exercises. Under the protocol, groups were video taped using time-lapse technology that visually compresses time, for example compressing a sixty-minute work session into a sixty-second high-speed video. We postulated that by watching the high-speed video of their own collaborative efforts, the students would more readily recognize patterns of behavior they otherwise would have missed: becoming more insightful when assessing group dynamics, division of labor, time management, and the reasons for the success or failure of their collaborative effort. This paper describes our preliminary efforts to develop and test such a time-lapse video intervention for university-level group projects and describes initial observations regarding the effect of this intervention upon student reflections.