You know what I’m talking about.
It’s the beginning of the semester and you take a look at your syllabus and see the dreaded words… “Group Project”. These projects are supposed to teach communication and synergy, among other things. Yet time and time again I am left frustrated and disappointed in my classmates. Here’s why I don’t like group work in graduate school:
5. “The Procrastinators”
In situations where I am the only one affected by whether or not I do my homework, I admit that I tend to procrastinate. However, when I know that other people are depending on me, I do my work more efficiently and always complete tasks early or on time. Unfortunately, this is not everyone’s mentality. Even if I do my part on time, if my teammate waits until the last minute to complete their tasks then our project will wind up looking sloppy and thrown together.
4. Someone always winds up doing the majority of the work…
…And somehow it’s always me!! I know everyone must walk away from a group project feeling that way. The teachers make it impossible to divide the work easily and someone gets stuck doing more work than everyone else.
3. They teach us to hate working in teams!
I find that group projects leave me so frustrated that I would rather have just done the entire thing myself. Working in teams at work or in a social setting does not have this effect on me. Perhaps because the tasks done in teams in those situations are more hands on and engaging? A project in a class setting, where my individual success is affected by someone else’s effort, just drives me crazy.
2. How the heck is a group of people supposed to write a cohesive paper?
I understand that group projects are all about working together towards a common goal. But seriously, how is a group of three people supposed to write a 75 page paper that flows well and isn’t as choppy as Lake Pontchartrain during a hurricane? What’s worse is when your group members obviously didn’t do well in freshman English or aren’t from an English-speaking country. Can you say grammar nightmare?
1. Students are BUSY!
I pride myself in my time management skills. There is just enough time in the week for me to work, go to class, do homework, study, watch How I Met Your Mother, and have relationships with my family and friends. Add someone else’s schedule into the mix and then things become complicated. Then add a third, fourth, fifth, etc. and group meetings become nearly impossible to arrange outside of class (and when the project is an online class, the only way groups can meet is outside of class!). One person works nights, another works weekends, another has children… The list goes on and on. Ain’t nobody got time for group meetings!
I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: