Where Group Projects Have Gone all Wrong

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.

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4 thoughts on “Where Group Projects Have Gone all Wrong

  1. Hey Janet, I really enjoyed this post. One specific thing that I enjoyed is your use of rhetorical questions. It acts as a humorous but thought provoking device and adds to the significance of what you’re trying to tell the audience. One thing that I might suggest improving upon is that you mentioned a little bit about the grades but then don’t expand. So we think about the grades aspect but then you shift away from that idea. Maybe expanding on the ideas that you state can make this blog a little stronger. Other than that, I really enjoyed this post. 🙂

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  2. Janet, I love the points that you are revealing about group projects. I hadn’t thought about certain group members not having the chance to contribute something of value. Your writing is insightful and lovely. You truly bring a new perspective to the term “group project”. You employ humor very effectively and tastefully, and keep the tone light and natural. For something to work on, I would suggest using more specific examples that illustrate your point. Were there any particular projects that you weren’t able to develop your gifts? Or times when you had full responsibility for the work? You discuss everything almost theoretically, and solid examples would bring credibility and relatability. But well done overall, thank-you for the insightful points!!

    ~Katie

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  3. Hey Janet. I really enjoyed this post. I honestly appreciated your insight into group projects and I am glad you shared your thoughts on them so that others may be changed in their ideas also. One thing I think could better, is sharing of some specific projects that brought about these ideas or projects that have disastrous or so on. This would provide concrete details and liability for your points. Nice job with this post, Janet. 🙂
    Reid

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  4. Hey Janet! I like how honest your blog post was, it really felt like a conversation as opposed to a superficial article. I think that made your post very effective in that your message was clear to the reader. I agreed with your statement about where “group projects have gone all wrong is when it becomes about the grade rather than finding each person’s gifts.” I found the statement very interesting because when it becomes about grades we forget about the learning and the teamwork. However, one area of improvement would be to have someone look at your work so that you can review your work with a fresh eye. It’s hard to see awkward sentences so I think that would be really beneficial to your writing. All in all, I really enjoyed reading your post.

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