Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Group Projects: A life-long hell

I would’ve thought that group projects would’ve been an activity left behind in middle school, but lo and behold, it’s shown it’s twisted head in my Online Writing college class.
I simply hate group projects, and our class today was certainly exemplified the amount of learning and time wasted by working with three other individuals who are just as apathetic, tired and miserable as you are.
We had to pick a website, then analyze the site using ten “agreed upon” criteria points. It was pretty quickly established that everyone in the group had listed the exact same kinds of criteria on their blogs, so we went ahead with a rather hilariously crappy website.
Not exactly sure what to do, we forged ahead, wrote out an introduction, and applied two pieces of the criteria to the site. It was time-consuming, but rather simple.
After criteria point #2, I went to the bathroom. By the time I had come back, the group had decided on doing a completely different website, reason being that the other site would’ve been repetitive in each of the categorical points. No one had the foresight to point this out before we had spent a good 4/5ths of our allotted time writing out this one part of our analysis. Even more enjoyable was the fact that two of my group members started lightly bickering with each other over completely unrelated shit, wasting more time and there was little me and the other group mate could do.
Looking around the room at the time, and seeing other groups sitting before their computers in a dull silence was even more annoying. Discussion, so it seems, is few and in-between in these group settings, and everyone feels uncomfortable in completely expressing themselves.
The whole idea of peer review is pointless: Despite everything that’s been said about human kindness, it’s rather shitty knowing that my grade will be (partly) determined by other students in my group, who could easily mark me down if I make a suggestion they don’t like or do not speak as often as they do.
Honestly, I’d much rather write out such a project all by myself. If I hadn’t learned yet how to work within a group environment by the time I applied for college, then I wouldn’t be in college. I certainly hope group projects that I’ll inevitably deal with in the future feel more structured and contain more students who actually give a shit then the busy-work dribble I’ve had to put up with in Writing Online.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Group projects in school are a joke. Probably designed to let the professor do a lot less grading. I remember doing a group project for a psychology class, doing field research and my teammates ended up making everything up in the paper because they didn't do any work. I ended up wasting all of my time. Of course they didn't learn shit while I got some insights to what I was learning. They were the losers. Most people don't give a crap about learning. Thankfully it normally catches up them.