The case against group projects


Kernel Opinion SIG

Nearly every student has experienced this: Existential dread washing over her face as the professor laughs and makes the comment that this is “just preparing you for the real world.”

It’s a group project time.

Group projects, whether it’s multiple projects or just one large project worth a big chunk of your final grade in the class, are dreaded by most hardworking students while plenty of C’s-get-degrees-motto student welcome them. We’ve all been here, whether you’re on the hard-working side or the other.

Group projects only teach students that being paired with lazy, poorly communicating colleagues is something we should just deal with, and not something that should be stopped.

So many issues could arise during a group project, causing huge problems within the group, like poor communication, lack of equal effort, loss of creativity, conflicting schedules and, not to mention, often receiving the same grade as every other group member, whether earned or not.

Another large issue concerning group projects is the decision-making process. Now, instead of making everyone decision yourself, an entire group must be consulted, taking precious time away from the end result.

Not only is a grade at stake for a project, but also the class, depending on the percentage the project is worth for the overall class grade. This could ultimately result in failure, meaning wasted time and money – two things that are not readily available as college students.

At the very least, if group projects absolutely must take precedence over all else, allowing students to pick their own groups could change group project outcomes tremendously. After months of sitting in a classroom with your colleagues, it’s easy to decipher who does their work and who slacks off to slide by, but this often isn’t a choice students are given.

Some professors truly believe they’re helping students learn what the “real world” is like by forcing us into group projects that typically result in poorer grades and tension with our colleagues.

From a student beyond tired of taking over group projects and doing too much work: It’s not helping.

It’s time to reevaluate the validity of group projects in college.