Group Work Doesn’t Actually Work

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Written by: Emily Long , Assistant Editor

The sound of an exasperated sigh of students when a teacher assigns a group project can be heard over miles. Nobody in their logical mind actually likes group work, and if they say they do, then they are the ones who don’t do anything. Group projects are supposed to teach students collaboration skills that they will need in the real world. Students hear things such as, ‘in real life you don’t get to pick who you work with’ like being told that is helpful. 

According to thedailytexan.com, 75 percent of students say that they preferred individual work over group projects. Students cringe at the idea of working with their peers in a group because they face things such as scheduling conflicts, an imbalance of work and overall just the awkward and unwanted collaboration between them and some of their peers.  

When students are assigned with a project that they are going to be working on in a group, they have to take into account not only the project itself, but how that project is going to get completed. Depending on the project, the teacher may allow students class time to work with their peers. Students have to figure out how to work around each other’s schedules and one of the most irritating things is trying to find a time and place to get the whole group together. Things like people canceling or not showing up happen, whether it’s because they are irresponsible or had other commitments such as practices or appointments. Because of their peers dropping the ball, the group then has to reschedule and overall it is just a frustrating and exhausting process to try and communicate with other students.

One reason that many students despise any type of group work is because they are the ones who have to do most of the heavy lifting for the project. There’s different types of students when it comes to a group project. This is one of the most frustrating feelings for students who have to support the weight of not only maintaining their grades, but trying to carry the rest of the group as well in order for the project to be successful. Otherwise, the project might not get done or it might turn out badly. 

In every project, there’s always the responsible students who end up taking on the whole project themselves. The “collaboration” that is supposed to take place only teaches students that they can piggyback off the work that their peers do, rather than doing it for themselves. According to Professor Chris Lam, 50 percent of students will take group projects as an advantage to leech off of their peers. These types of projects are unnecessary and unfair for a majority of students, and they aren’t really getting anything out of it.