Teamwork, patience and cooperation are a few skills that can be achieved through group work. It is likely that most of us will be working with other people in future professions, so these skills are not pointless by any means. However, we have to question to what extent should these groups impact our personal grades. Also, there is the question of time and whether or not it is realistic for professors to expect their students to have the availability to continuously meet each other outside of class.
While I see the clear positives in group projects, I do not agree with group grades. There are few instances, in my experience, in which the tasks of group projects are split completely evenly between the members and in which every member deserves the same grade. My friends that are Business majors tell me how much of their final grade depends on them getting a good group to work with for the quarter, which is usually an assigned group. As an English major, I have not experienced as many group projects. However, from the few I have experienced, I share the same sentiment towards them that my friends have. It is a helpless feeling knowing that you are not the only person controlling your final grade. Perhaps I would feel differently if each member received their own grade, which I know is the case sometimes. However, the majority of the time we are forced to rely too much on other people to obtain a good grade.
Another negative aspect of group projects is time. It may have been realistic in high school to think students had time to meet when everyone finished school at the same time of day and when everyone was in the same building all day. However, college is obviously a different story. We all have different class schedules on top of work schedules on top of club schedules and simply on top of other homework. Also, at a school as big as Ohio State, rarely are students living near each other, making a meeting even more inconvenient. To ask students to complete group work that requires them to meet outside of class is a tall order. If professors gave time in class for groups to work together, it would be more realistic. However, this is also rarely the case.
Ultimately, college is busy enough as is. Asking students to coordinate those busy schedules in order to receive a good grade on a group project is asking a bit much, in my opinion. Skills involving working with other people are pertinent to our futures. If changes were made to the current group project model, they would be much more beneficial. As of now, however, it is unfair to have to rely on other people for a good grade and unrealistic to think we have time to do that.
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