Monday, September 13, 2010

Group Projects - true or false

Today's lesson is about group projects. Is a group project really a group project or is it a project that one or two people do and others contribute to? I've had a lot of time to think about that question in my long quest towards my graduate degree. After spending 15 months non-stop with the same group of people, doing group projects, I am beginning to believe that a group project is a farce. See, here's the thing. Someone has to come up with a good topic for the paper/project, others have to approve the topic, then assignments are made as to who is going to do what part and which research, then we move to the actual doing of the research and writing. Then the hard part begins. Each person has a different writing style and a different idea of where the project is headed and how it should get there. Each person also has their own personal timetable/priorities in life. When it comes time to stitch the project/paper together, some are very good at making it flow and others are not. Those who are, edit, reedit, and reedit until it looks and sounds professional and as if one person wrote it. Those who are not, complain because their wording is being changed and they feel stepped on and less worthy. So, the person whose writing is not as professional gets upset and takes offense and then decides that they ate not going to put any more effort into the project. Those doing the editing, take ownership of the project and it becomes their project and the rest are along for the ride. Now, those NOT editing feel even worse. It is a never ending cycle. Those that carry the group to success and excellence are frustrated by the lack of cooperation and involvement. So, we all get an A on the efforts of one or two people, but the complaining still continues. My question then is this. "Would you rather get the grade you deserve or the one that someone got for you?" Frustrating, yes. But who cares? 12 more weeks and you will never see these people again. Make it work people, make it work! (Note to self: don't complain, just make it work!)

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