The Truth About Group Projects

Like most college students, I’ve never liked group projects.

Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, usually one of the following scenarios takes place:

1. The group is too big and not everybody can find a time to meet outside of class, forcing you to separate the project – meaning everyone has to do a little bit outside of class. When you put the project together, it doesn’t seem to come together as you had hoped.

2. The group is very small, but when you do meet outside of class, everyone decides to split up the project anyway – even though you are already together. Why did you not split this work up earlier so you could get something done during that group meeting?

3. The worst scenario: you do most of the group project. Everyone in your group doesn’t seem as motivated and you want the project done (and you want it done well).

I’ve had each of these scenarios happen. I’m not a fan of group projects because I feel responsible for not only my own grade, but also the grade of the other group members. That’s a lot of pressure.

It seems like everyone tries to avoid group projects, even when we are assigned them. We try to avoid what group projects are made to do, which is teach you how to work well with others.

From my own experience, I’ve noticed that these projects work best when we have class time to work together and we have to be there for the duration of the class. We’re forced to work together, meaning each part of the project inevitably ends up fitting together nicely.

While many of us hate group projects, the truth is that they are needed. We need to learn to work with others that we might not choose to work with, because after graduation, this scenario is bound to happen.

Students need to stop being afraid of group projects and try to embrace them. I know it’s difficult – I still groan when I hear the words “group project” come out of a professor’s mouth. Just remember that working with others will prepare you for the future, even if it isn’t ideal now.