“I hate group projects. They send you paper at 10.30 PM and expect you to be able to do something with it.” This is not from me. This is a quote from my daughter, who is at high school, last night around midnight. Apparently she was tasked with tying down, formatting and editing the individual work pieces for the group assignment. The assignment was due next morning. To her credit, she was able to do her job before the deadline.
When I heard this comment and saw her frustration it immediately rang a bell for me. I have held my share of grudges against some (thankfully, few) group assignments while in part-time MBA program. I also have heard quite a lot of complaining about group projects from some of my acquaintances. More on this in my post from the Spring term of MBA at GWU. It seems to be a universal “plague”. There is often (again, thankfully, not always) someone who is slacking back and not pulling their share of the group project fairly.
The only thing I am wondering now, what are the real comments on group projects from those slackers. Are they also complaining, or rejoicing that in the group assignment they can hide behind their classmates and let their groupmates clean the mess after them? This is the reason I think that it is important to have written peer evaluation at the end of the project. Some, but not all, of my professors in classes with group projects implemented this practice. I personally found it as a helpful checks and balances mechanism. I guess not everyone would agree with me on that.
As for my daughter, the only advice I had for her was to get ready, because more of those group projects are coming to her in college and beyond.