As a mature age student the task of a group assignment was extremely daunting, yet highly exciting. Having worked in both team and individual environments for the last four years, I knew that I would have the confidence to work productively with my team members. For our topic, we collectively decided to address the issue of Bikie gangs and their perception in the media. We thought that due to the current climate surrounding their activity that we would have endless amounts of information for our case studies to support our ideology. When exploring their perception we concentrated on both mainstream and citizen journalism. Using references from news and current affairs programs, fictitious and real life crime dramas and interviews with the general public. Our goal was to cast a “wide net” over the topic to reflect on their perception as a whole.
Through the power of convergent media (Facebook, Twitter) the task of collating and organizing individual ideas was dramatically simplified. A Facebook group was established and everyone contributed his or her thoughts on the direction the presentation should take. Being able to instantly notify the group members of news reports, YouTube clips and on-going construction of the Prezi presentation was an excellent advantage. Not only was it cost effective, it proved a stroke of genius when organizing face-to-face consultation times also.
As a group I thought we worked tremendously well. After having my reservations at the start of the assignment (based on nightmare high school group activities) I warmed to the task of working together with my group. Each member showed maturity well above their age and everyone’s opinions were treated with respect and were given great attention. As we were a group of five, we decided to split the tasks equally. Each team member was given three minutes and either the introduction, a case study or the conclusion. I nominated myself for one of the television case studies focusing primarily on fictitious crime dramas (Sons of Anarchy, Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms) and also documentary style programs. Having a graphic design background, I also nominated myself to create the Prezi presentation for the group. I found the construction of the Prezi the most exciting aspect of the assignment, as it was a new medium that allowed us to create a presentation that was concise and still engaging for our audience. Having the ability to use videos and moving images and sound were great ideas put forward by the group and I believe they worked really well in delivering our presentation.
If we were given the opportunity to present our presentation again, I would like to have made the conclusion considerably briefer. I thought that we covered our position very well through the introduction case studies and just added far too much information for a conclusion. Perhaps we could have rehearsed our presentation a few more times to keep the summary of points and include our statement and opinion without going into extra details at the end.
Because of my strong interest in the content that my case study focused on I found understanding the task to be considerably easier and too my advantage. When watching the content I always try to keep a critical opinion on what issues and tasks are being discussed throughout the shows. Issues of racial tension, drugs and street violence are intertwined with heart-felt emotions of love, trust and honour.
I would like to congratulate my group on our level of communication throughout the project. The most influential aspect to the preparation of our presentation was our use of social networking. Without a cheap and social platform to express our ideas on, this project wouldn’t have run as smoothly. Due to our different geographical locations, having a ‘meeting spot’ online was a great advantage. As daunting as group work may seem, once you have your communication structure in place, the task becomes far less concerning. Each team member knew their role, formulated their ideas and then brought their content to the presentation. I look forward to numerous group work assignments throughout my university studies and have a new found respect for those team members involved in presenting, Bikies and their perception in the media.