Embrace the frustration!

Frustration is a necessity for learning. Without some level of frustration, there is no learning. When you struggle to learn something new, you are going to feel frustrated. When you get new information or facts that requires an update of your way of thinking, it causes frustration.

Capdeferro & Romano are investigating frustration in online collaborative learning. Their research shows that there is a lot of frustration involved in collaborative work. The frustration is of various type, mostly poor group work ethic, uneven workload and imbalance between commitment and responsibility. It is fair to say, it is not the online environment or challenges with digital tools, which rise frustration, but rather poor group dynamics, bad communication and unshared views of the goal.

Photo by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash

My PBL group focused on how teachers can motivate students to explore the values of a successful collaborative work, and in addition why it is important to surround yourself with a good personal learning network. We decided to compile experiences of the values of collaborative work as short videos. I felt a lot of frustration when doing my contribution. Firstly, because my experiences of successful group work are from outside work or study life. Secondly, English is not my first or second language, and I feel brainless trying to express myself. The third source of frustration was making the video. I wanted to film outdoors, since our campus is located close to the bay and nice nature and views. It was impossible because the wind and the seagulls drowned my voice. Instead, I filmed in a boring conference room. When trying to upload the clip, my 2 minute clip was 10 x bigger than the allowed size in Padlet. Obviously, I had no patience to google solutions for me on Friday afternoon, so I did what I usually do – I called my brother. The process to upload the clip to YouTube, took 20 (!) minutes. I wanted to keep the clip private and only share the link. It didn´t work in padlet, so I had to make the clip accessible to anyone. I can assure you that the amount of frustration was high at this point!

Oh well. I still claim that frustration is a necessity for learning and growing. One of the respondents in Capdeferro & Romero´s report states: “I feel frustrated when I work with people who are more competent than me and I become more and more aware of not being at their level.” This is a rewarding kind of frustration. When you surround yourself with people, you can learn from, it might increase the feeling of frustration in the short run, but in the long run it will help you broaden your knowledge.

My life hack is that you should always try to get into situations where you feel that you are the most stupid. If you think you are the smartest in a room, either it is the wrong place to be, or it is time to look yourself in the mirror and peel off the arrogance.


3 thoughts on “Embrace the frustration!

  1. Thank you for sharing your frustration. I agree 100% with the notion that frustration is necessary for learning, it echoes a similar thought I read some time ago, “where there’s discomfort, there’s growth”. We learn because we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and that will inevitably lead to frustration. Now I’m wondering whether the level of frustration is positively or negatively related to the learning. 🙂
    – Hafizah Osman


  2. Hej Magdalena! Your post is so amusing, and I can so relate to your frustration 1 and 2! I did not make any video in this course (yet…), but I have made some in my work before and they are awful and embarrass me… I wonder how many you have to do until you feel comfortable enough or if I am just an impossible case? Even the video meetings with the web camera on make me feel awkward!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s