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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Opinion: Virtual breakout rooms are an opportunity for collaboration

Opinion: Virtual breakout rooms are an opportunity for collaboration
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

One year into the pandemic, a majority of students at Suffolk University have not stepped foot into a classroom. Remote classes have caused them to evaluate if it is productive to collaborate with their peers remotely versus physically.

In various classes throughout the last few semesters online, professors try to bring their classes to life by incorporating a mixture of learning activities. Class time consists of lectures, breakout rooms and group discussions.

Personally, I love doing group work. How else would you get to know people in your class and in college? There are times I wish I had the opportunity to work with everyone in my class, not just small groups of people. However, other student reactions to these activities are humorous at best. Everyone can relate to the uniform experiences. 

In my experience, an hour-long class without this variation is a little boring. When it’s a three hour lecture, it is difficult to keep my attention. There is no excitement left since the class has only one format. Doing the same thing for three hours can put a strain on your life.

For the most part, I do not mind joining a virtual breakout room. It is a way to connect with other students when you are unable to meet in a physical setting. Nonetheless, working in groups is essential to your career and growth. Although it comes with more struggles than it would in-person, I’d recommend everyone to just grin and bear it.

There is a psychological effect of directly saying you do not want to be in a group. We do not often hear people say, “I know I’m in a group but I would rather work alone.” This would cause many to be surprised or even shocked. People will surely have a different perception of you as a person especially when it comes to the question of, “Is that person a team player?” 

To navigate group projects, it is important to understand your personal learning preferences. The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is a questionnaire that can determine your psychological process in making decisions.

For example, I am a protagonist (ENFJ), which is a person with extroverted, intuitive, feeling and judging personality traits. When it comes to group work, I extensively plan everything but am still open to improvisation. I love putting my ideas out there.

Knowing how you work with others is important to the success of group work and could make it more bearable. For more information regarding personality types and group work, see this video.

Group projects should relatively be the same regardless of the distances between the members. With the exception of poor internet connection and the lack of physical interaction, it is more convenient to have everything you need at your fingertips. 

Especially during the pandemic, we should cherish the learning experiences we share with each other, even with strangers and acquaintances.

You can actually use all your experiences with different characters you binged on Netflix during the isolation period of quarantine and put them to good use. Maybe you will find an angry friend like Paris Geller from “Gilmore Girls” or Angela Martin from “The Office.” It could even be the beginning of your own sitcoms, like “How I Met Your Mother,” “Scandal” or “Sex and The City.” Take a chance like you’ve taken a chance on “Cats: The Musical” and “Mamma Mia 2.” 

 The key thing here is to separate your personal lives from your professional lives. As long as you do your best with the tasks at hand, anything can be done perfectly well.

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Thomas Pholnikorn
Thomas Pholnikorn, Staff Writer | he/him
Thomas is currently a junior from Thailand. In his free time, he ventures into the realm of endless possibilities and imagination. Ultimately, there are three things he is searching for: shapeless love, certain kindness, and never fading hope.
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Opinion: Virtual breakout rooms are an opportunity for collaboration