Students all have pet peeves regarding teachers and vice versa, but one of the biggest problems I face is group projects. Group projects in a college environment are difficult. Often, for students, they end up being problematic, stressful and just annoying.
OCU is a diverse school. In our core classes, at any given time, there are students studying in many different majors. This means everyone has a different set of skills, which could be useful for group projects, but it also means that everyone has a different schedule. Some students have rehearsals and practices, while others have massive tests to study for, and these priorities could easily conflict.
Also, as is the cliché in group projects, you may get that one slacker in the class who doesn’t contribute to the project whatsoever. This is rare in college, yet it seems that some students will still contribute more to the final project than others.
In a group project, you’re likely to get a range of different personalities, especially in a school that’s as well-rounded as OCU. The problem with this is that you are likely to get a controlling person, the type of person who tends to take on all the stress and leads the group through the project. This leads others to feel as though they are not contributing enough and might lead to an awkward tension or anxiety during group meet ups.
Rarely will a group mesh together well. I’m doing a group project for a class. I’m fortunate that my group gets along as well as it does, and even more fortunate that we all equally contribute and are getting our work done. That being said, I’ve had multiple bad experiences with group projects at OCU in years prior.
College today is an interesting concept. This is where we grow into adults, and we’re all taught how to be self-sufficient and responsible. Our grades shouldn’t rely on the effort of others, but rather they should rely on our own work and will to receive a good grade. This is my problem with group projects.
The projects force me to mix with others’ schedules, and, rather than doing homework in the peaceful environment of my own room, I’m forced to go to a public space. Yes, this might be lazy, but there’s something special about having a designated spot for thinking and homework.
Teachers always mean well, and I’m thankful for how well they teach me, and how fair and loving they can be at OCU. But it’s time to start doing away with group projects in college.
Why not assign individual projects regarding fragments of the subject at hand instead? That way, each person in the class can be an expert in an area of the subject, while getting to learn about everyone else’s subject through presentations. This presents a suitable alternative to group projects and helps with all the problems they entail.
Life at OCU is busy, no matter what your major is. Teachers and students should work together to find suitable ways to engage each other in the classroom. Group projects have the right idea, but more can be done to make learning a little less stressful and more enjoyable.