November 6, 2011 - 10:30 PM
Something college classes seem to pride themselves on is their ability to connect the working world to their classroom by creating group projects. If group projects are reflections of the real world, I am terrified.
Group projects are extremely difficult. An average group project consists of four people in college. Most class group projects do not give you time to work with each other in class. So balancing four-college student's schedules takes some effort. We are all involved in different clubs, classes, jobs, social clubs and have different personal lives. One of us may place high priority on the class project where the rest it is a secondary class. Through my internship this summer I have realized that group projects are nothing like the working world.
At work, your ‘team projects' are being accomplished during working hours, when you are getting paid. The team's priority is getting their work done. I am sure it is easier in some ways to work by yourself still but, it is everyone's responsibility at work to make sure the project is completed and represented properly. If not, there are consequences. In school there are consequences yes, but a letter grade does not necessarily affect each member of the group in the same way. Some student's GPA does not matter in their career path where others it does tremendously.
I have had a total of five classes in my college career where the large majority of my grade was based off of my group's work. Three of those ended up being great projects where I learned a lot. Those three were also groups that I picked to be in. The others I was assigned and hated the class for the entire term.
I guess what I am trying to say is group projects, in a word, suck. We all have lives and different agendas but relying on each other is difficult, and usually creates a toxic environment. The moral of the blog? Group projects are a pain.