Group Work

Every college student to date will agree with me on this: Group projects are THE WORST. If a professor wishes to single-handedly destroy the relationships between his students in one day, he will assign a group project. If you see someone’s phone buzz thirty times in a row? Probably a group project. Group chats, google docs, and “Reply-all” emails are just the beginning.

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My fall semester of junior year ended today with a fluids final. As much as I hate to say it, I enjoyed that final. It was two hours long, one sitting, limited amount of pain. Group projects, on the other hand, have no limit. First off, group projects commonly involve vague instructions. To add to the confusion, there is an uneven divide in workload among students. Some disappear off the face of Earth until the project due date, others take matters into their own hands. As if it couldn’t get worse, there’s no specified rubric or way to evaluate who did the work. Group projects culminate in nothing other than magic. What I’m saying is that if the group has anything to present in the end at all you have a miracle.

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I mean, what do professors hope to achieve by assigning group projects? I paid this much for college so I could work myself out of debt. Not so that I could do another student’s work and answer group texts at 2am. Is it about learning how to deal with dead weight? Becoming more bossy? Building endurance? After three years, I can attest to the fact that one group project can do enough damage to last a semester. So please, dear professors, take it easy on us. Give us lengthy finals instead.

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Author: Jess T.

I blog too much for my own good.

10 thoughts on “Group Work”

  1. I can entirely agree about group projects and your conclusion “Trust No One”. Each one has their own agenda and the most manipulative win while others take your ideas and pass them off as their own. There are two sayings I like about group projects: “a camel is a horse designed in a group project” and “a group project is “a wolf, a fox, a vulture and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch”.
    I have started following your blog now looking forward to reading some of your back posts – Sol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I only had to deal with one group project in my undergrad degree. I loathed it. But was assigned a great group! I guess it is trying to teach us to be team players? But as a straight A+ student it worried the hell out of me! And got me the lowest mark of my degree. But still an A! Met some great ‘kids’ who had awesome attitudes. But yeah. Not keen to repeat the experience, from topic selection to presentation …. argh! I feel your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely made some great friends out of sheer luck in my classes. But being in groups with those people was difficult at times because we would goof around instead of focusing on the assignment. I’m glad you liked this post!

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  3. Hah, this is exactly how I remember college. I never did understand why professors would assign group projects. They always went the same way. 1) The group was assigned, and before the class period ended we all came up with a topic for research and individual goals and deadlines. 2) Deadline number 1 approached and nobody aside from myself (the one who worked three jobs in addition to full-time school, feeding a husband, and volunteering) could find the time to attend. Additionally, I was the only one who even started my share of the project. 3) Final deadline approaches, and not only have I only been the one to make my deadline, but I’ve been the only one to put any work into any part of the entire project so far. 4) It’s 20 minutes before time to turn in the work and everyone is super relieved that I’ve done all of the work, because they did about an average of 15 minutes per person around 3am this morning.

    I used to take the professor’s true explanation as the reason for group projects, which was: “When you get out in the real world, you’ll work as a team, and this is preparing you for the real world.” After more than a decade in that real world, I understand that it is not at all the truth. The truth is that the professor never entered the real world and went straight from school into teaching school, which is way different. In the real world, if you do a team project people work on it or they lose their jobs. If one person does all the work, everyone fails instead of passes, so everyone works.

    Anyway, long response, I know. I’m feeling gabby tonight. Cheers and good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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