Whenever I am given a group assignment, I internally groan, and am always reluctant to start it. I have always been an advocate of independent projects because I feel much better knowing that I completed the assignment on my own.
Typically, professors assign the groups, which usually makes matters worse. If I could choose the members of my group, I would know who I am working with, as well as his or her work ethic. There have been countless times where I have worked with students who were either unmotivated or unable to do any of the work at all. This made completing our assignment extremely difficult and frustrating.
I have never been one to procrastinate; I like to finish assignments almost as soon as they are given out. It is comforting to know that the project is out of the way, rather than have to worry about completing it. Knowing that the due date is approaching quickly causes me to feel stressed and anxious because I worry that time may run out.
In certain instances, I have completed most of the group assignment, or at least a major part of it, in order to ensure that it was completed properly and successfully. Unfortunately, taking on the majority of a project in order to ensure its completion requires time and effort. We all have other homework assignments to do and tests to study for, so it is unfair for one person to complete the whole assignment.
If a group is stuck with a lazy member, his or her part of the assignment may have to be completed by others, creating more work for those who have already finished their portion of the project. If the work is not completed, it will hurt the grade of all the members.
On the other hand, sometimes students are willing to begin the assignment, but their schedules are too hectic to allow them to work with others. In situations like these, each member of the group works individually, coming together only at the end just before presenting. This could negatively affect the group presentation and the overall grade.
I do not like it when I am given the same grade as a student who hasn’t worked as hard. When I complete most of the work, I believe that my grade should reflect that. Similarly, the student, or students, who slack off and allow others to do the work for them should be given a lower grade and suffer the consequences; it is only fair. While some group projects may go as planned and turn out wonderfully, there are too many negatives that outweigh the positives. I am much more comfortable working on my own.
Junior English major
Printed in the 10/2/13 edition.