Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Struggle with Group Projects...

Group projects to me are never 100% good or 100% bad. It usually is luck of the draw depending on the group members I am assignment to have. This semester, I specifically, have an example of a positive experience with a group project that I am still working in. For a political science course that I am in, we have a large project that we have been working on for the course of the semester. Our group is made up of 3 people total and we have had no problems to date. It worked out that all three of us got along very well and since our project was stretched out for so long, we have been able to work on every section of the project together. Every other week we meet up at the UGL for an hour or two at a convenient time (usually on Sundays) and work on our project together. Since all three of us are there, there is not a “slacker” in our group and everyone is happy. I believe that the reason we have been so successful in our group is because of our similarities in personalities and talent. We all have the same major, have take similar classes, and have similar interests in our project. Our group members were chosen based off of who preferred each topic so I think that was also a big factor in why we were doing so well, because we were all genuinely interested in our topic.

On the other hand, there have been many instances in my college career where my group project was the least desirable experience. During an online class I took last summer we were assigned a group project where we had to work on a debate together. This project seemed almost impossible since it was over the summer, online, and we were never able to physically meet with our group. Even getting ahold of my group members via email was extremely difficult. The way that we divided work was I sent an email with the parts of the debate and everyone just chose one section. We all worked on it separated and had no clue if our members were putting in the work and effort they should have been putting in before the debate. There was on group member who never responded to our emails and while we just assumed he got them, we emailed our professor to check if he dropped the course and when he said he is still enrolled we assumed that he would do the work for the debate. As the debate was approaching none of my group members still received any sort of response from the group member we hadn’t made contact with all summer so myself and another group member took it on ourselves to do his work. The day of the debate, that group member that wasn’t responding all summer never entered the debate so we were very glad we did his work for him. Although in the end our grade for the debate was great, it was a very stressful situation. Ten minutes before the debate started was the first time we were able to share with our group members the research that we did. We fully trusted one another to do the work and that was a very stressful situation. This was the worst example of a group project because of the lack of communication that we were able to have with our group members as well as lack of consistent effort portrayed from each group member.


  1. I think similarities in personality and talent is definitely something that helps in a group setting. I have personally experienced this from my classes at school. Whenever I have a group project for a class such as a gen ed class there seems to be problems arising because nobody takes the class seriously. Gen ed classes are made up of people from various majors and I have personally seen people slack off because they don't take the class seriously. On the other hand, if I'm in a class that is related to my major then I tend to do better in group projects. Typically the people that I work with are in the same field of study and have similar knowledge in the subject because they are in that particular class with me.

  2. I agree that similarities in interests and talent are important in the makeup of a group. I like your point about communication too - groups work best when everyone knows what's going on and that the other people are pulling their weight.