The Demise of Group Projects

The Demise of Group Projects

Let’s address this: Group projects.

Ahh, group projects.

Otherwise known as a single person carrying a group of five other students. We’ve all been there. Your professor says to get into groups, and you throw up in your mouth a little bit. If you’re that person who carries the group, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The problem begins when the majority of the group notices that one of them genuinely cares about the project, as well as their grade. For the next few classes, you just so happen to be the only one who took the textbook, your laptop, the notes, and the rubric to class. Every now and then, as you’re doing their work for them, the group will throw a few “uh-huh-s,” at you, and definitely a couple of “yep, I completely agree-s.”

This has happened to someone in every group project. In fact, I remember being the person in high school backpacking onto the leader of the group, pretending I cared, while they did all the work. Once students hear that it’s a group grade, they hear an opportunity to sit back and relax during the class period, while one person researches and starts a PowerPoint. The leader will always share the document with the other students, and attempt to assign them each a slide to fill in, but there will always be an excuse on the other end.

It’s the night before the project is due, and your group is refusing to answer you, as you wonder why they haven’t completed their slides yet. You contact them over and over again, but still, no reply. What choice do you have? It’s your grade, too. So, you have to get a grip on yourself, and do the entire PowerPoint.

You go to bed completely irritated, but insist you “don’t even care,” because it’s done and over with. For some reason, you go in the next day, and give each ignorant student in your group a slide to read, so it looks like they did some work, too. You’re sincerely confused with yourself.

So, why don’t all teachers and professors individually grade group projects? Whether it’s graded on how much they spoke and knew during the presentation, or if they handed in their sole parts of the project on their own, not just if they read from a slideshow.

No one likes to admit it, but when you get a good group grade on a project you did by yourself, you can’t help but feel a little defeated inside, because you, yourself, put together a project for five other people.

Case dismissed.