This is bound to happen to every student at some point in their college career. They will be arriving for their first week of class and their professor will give out his or her syllabus where it will list a series of group work projects.
Professors need to get over this group work kick they seem to be on. Nobody likes group work, it is not always valuable and it is an unnecessary time-suck.
While the professor might say, “I know you have a lot on your plate, but this shouldn’t add too much to your schedule,” they don’t take into account any or all of your other professors did the same thing. Great, a full class schedule packed with group assignments. Goodbye sleep and sanity.
Very few students are involved in just school. Most have jobs, most are involved in some sort of campus group and many are part of some sports team. Those who aren’t sometimes have families. Really, anyone who isn’t learning to work with others is probably living under a rock. So if the goal is to teach students to work as teams, that mission is already being accomplished in other parts of their life.
A group of students working together on a single project long-term is one thing, but professors seem to love pairing up students to do just about anything. Want to write a paper? Better do it in a group of five because Google Docs is just so cool.
We don’t need a team of five students working on every assignment.
Why any professor thinks a whole group is needed to assemble a presentation on a topic one person easily could have covered is baffling.
The best part is professors like to throw in ways of allowing students to grade each other. Some professors have set up Blackboard quizzes which are strictly for grading your peers and not even on the merits of the work, so much as what they contributed to the group.
Some professors don’t seem to understand students don’t pony up thousands of dollars a semester to grade their peers. If undergrads were experts on the subjects they study in college, they wouldn’t be seeking a degree or attending class now would they?
With some students having so few hours left in the day to meet with a bunch of other people, groups often are forced to meet late in the evening and with that comes the joy of sitting with five other exhausted, starving students. Who then waste half the meeting complaining about how long their day was and why they had to waste even more time meeting a group for an assignment which should have been asolo assignment.
It is okay to just assign something and expect students to do the work alone. They’re not going to be missing out on some amazing college experience if they don’t have four other people working on the same assignment for every single assignment.
Whatever the reason may be professors need to stop acting like they’re the only ones assigning these wasteful and irritating projects. Group work only serves to raise stress levels and kill hours in the day which could be used for real studying or getting much-needed sleep.
We may be Broncos, but working as a herd on everything shouldn’t be a theme.