5 Reasons I Hate Group Projects

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:

3 thoughts on “5 Reasons I Hate Group Projects

  1. I think higher education is overproduced. Probably almost half of the people in my Masters cohort don’t have the academic ability or work ethic to be in grad school. I know this because I have to do groupwork ad-nauseum with these people. One of my group members actually thought it was fine to copy and paste from Wikipedia for a research project. In a Masters program. And when I say something about that and her ridiculously lame work in general, I’m frowned upon for not “being a team player”. The faculty have to justify and protect their jobs by boosting retention and graduation of mediocre or worse students. If people are doing C work when passing is a B-, just make groupwork 35% of the grade and put the lamestains in with smart, hardworking students. Make the incompetent the problem of their more competent “colleagues”.
    Personally, I think faculty and administration should be slashed in half along with the student population. Then maybe I would graduate with a degree that actually means something.

  2. Group work in college is a ridiculous, frustrating, waste of time that produces mediocre output at best. It lets slackers coast, and conscientious students gets taken advantage of.

    People need to learn how to be competent workers who can use their brains to solve problems. Group work, unfortunately, does not do that. It leads to groupthink and lowered productivity. If someone is a poor problem solver, or just generally incompetent, they have nothing to offer a team. Higher education should filter these people out before they reach the workforce.

    There are few things funnier than watching 1 person easily do an excellent job on a project in half the time it takes 4 people to produce garbage. Academia and the corporate world has been dogmatic in elevating groupwork while ignoring the problems with it.

  3. I’ve come to the conclusion that group work in masters programs is part of what makes masters education such a scam. At least half of the people I’ve worked in groups with read and write at about an 8th to 10th grade level. It used to mystify me how these people manage to stay in a graduate program, and then I realized that it benefits the university administration and faculty to keep warm bodies in seats. It’s job security. They preach that its training in “team work” that will benefit us “in the real world”. Bull. All it does is inflate the number of people with grad degrees–making my degree worth less. If a B is passing, and some schmuk is getting a C, just put that person in my group, make the project 35% of the grade, I get us an A on the project with my hard work and academic ability, and rocks-for-brains gets pulled up to a passing grade in the course.

    There’s one prof. in my program who, on top of the ridiculous task of having 4 people write a “group paper,” has the rule that the paper has to have a consistent voice and grammar, like one person wrote it. That means that I basically have to try to decipher people’s incoherent writing, and really just end up writing the crap myself. I despise pulling along lazy, incompetent people. These people need not apply to my company because they will not last long.

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