The Patriot Press

Group projects without the group

Kalie Murphy

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When a teacher announces a group project or quiz, there are always a variety of reactions: sighs of relief, looks of anticipation, or groans of disgust.  Regardless of the reaction, most everyone will agree that group collaboration is a valuable life skill.

However, in group tests and projects, the word group is often missing from the phrase ‘group effort.’ The fact of the matter is that one or two individuals are more likely to take the lead of the project than others. They shoulder the responsibility, and put in all the effort necessary to get the A. On the other hand, some students do absolutely no work what so ever, and still walk away with an A on the project.

Teachers are at a dilemma; they can either let students pick their groups and minimize the lopsided effort, or they can randomly assign groups and hope that the lazier students will learn something from the more motivated individuals.

Group effort is ruined for hard working students and those who wish to learn by those who slack to get ahead. The grade that they receive at the end of the day does not reflect the amount of effort they put in, or how much they earned. Instead, it seems to reflect how much they slacked off.

Group projects and quizzes would be a good learning tool if everyone put in the effort. Even if students did not know as much as the next person, they can still contribute to the group. They can also learn from the experience. People who know the material have the knowledge reinforced in their brain simply by teaching others.

It is the individual who sits back and makes no effort to learn or contribute who is at fault. Yes, at the end of the semester, their grade will likely reflect their general outlook on school, but they still do not deserve credit that they did not earn.

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Group projects without the group