Group Project. From these two words comes a flood of emotions. On one hand, in a group, you have the opportunity to do less work for a more elaborate presentation that one might be able on their own. Sadly, most of the time this just does not happen.
We all know those one or two kids who contribute absolutely nothing in the group project. Yeah the ones that do nothing, and yet somehow manage to walk away with and equal grade to those in the group who did their parts and then some. Then on top of that they have the audacity to say, when the presentation over and the grade comes back, “Great job guys! We did great!” We? Who’s we?? I know I’m guilty of thinking this at once or twice in a group project. The real question is though, was there an effort made to include them and let them contribute? These people act as a kind of scapegoat. If the whole project fails, then the person that contributed nothing is to blame. This idea actually makes no sense. Everyone’s mad at them, because they contributed nothing to the project, but then they’re to blame for a project failing…that they contributed nothing to.
From the moment that the list of people in each group are read, each person in split up into separate lists; someone who will work and someone who won’t. They didn’t even have a chance. Everyone has a gift, and the beauty of a group project is that each member of the group can bring their gift and bring them together to achieve the assignment. Where the idea of group projects have gone all wrong is when it becomes about the grade rather than finding each person’s gift. The truly sad thing is that those people who were not given the chance to contribute, may also not have been given the chance to find what they’re good at. These groups projects need to be approached by having each person say where they are skilled and for the project to shaped around that. When one person starts by giving the plan without consulting everyone, then there is no place for those people who did not get to contribute to the plan and their gifts are not being used. I know I’ve been guilty of this one more than one occasion. It’s a big problem, but this new perspective could change the that initial reaction to group projects.