Group Assignments

I have mixed feelings about group assignments, sometimes I hate the idea and sometimes I think it’s useful it all depends on the circumstance.

The reason why I DON’T like group projects is that the majority of the time you don’t know the people in your group. Now maybe it’s the social state of our society in this day and age and the supposed anti-social attitude we young adults have in real life situations, but it’s just pointless when you put someone in a group of people they don’t know and they spend the majority of class time awkwardly sitting there waiting on someone to start the conversation or introduce themselves and even once that’s done it gets silent as soon as everyone knows everyone else’s names.

Once you’ve gotten past all the awkwardness you’re all going to have to work together, which becomes a mess. Similarly to the way they decided on how many people should make up Congress: if a group is too big then nothing will get done, yet if a group is too small then there won’t be enough people to get things done. With classroom groups the teacher typically doesn’t think about this factor and simply splits the class in half or has everyone number off. Either way the group is going to suffer because the professor put no thought into how the groups were being split up. This leads to people in the group getting left out especially if there are people in the group that know each other. The people who know each other are going to hit things off right away or their going to get distracted and be somewhat secluded from the group. The people outside of their group are left with a decision: they can either take lead of the project or they can be secluded themselves. This leads to bad grades for someone because they supposedly didn’t help or were pushed away by the rest of the group.

The times when I think group projects DO work would be in classes that are exclusive to a specific major. Take me for instance, I;m a Digital Media major with a focus on film, in my advanced video class we have 5 people and thus group projects work because we all have a similar interest and there’s not a whole lot of us. In my Basic Video Class we had about 20 people and the groups were split into 3 (about 7 a group) and we were charged to do a production, this worked as well because we were all interested in film and (and this is kind of the bonus of going to a smaller college) we all kind of knew each other from past video or Digital Media based classes and projects as well as clubs and organizations.

The times it won’t work is during General Education based classes. I’m in a government class doing a project with a group of people I’ve never met before and I have plenty of great information to share, but I’ve been pushed out so here I am writing my blog while the rest discuss the homework. I swear I’m not complaining or bitter I’m just using this example. Anyways, it made for a good chuckle when the professor came over to see how we were doing and told the group they were missing an important piece of information that I just so happened to have and would have been happy to share had they not all started discussing with their friends and those they know. The professor then went on to explain the piece we were missing. Maybe I’m in the wrong here, but I’m pretty sure I’m right in saying there’s a flaw in the group project concept.

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