“I really hate assigning group projects, but this is what the real world is like.” This is what a professor told me today. If he is right, add this to the list of reasons I don’t want to go into the real world. Group projects, for me like so many others, are one of the devil’s play things aptly administered by PhDs across the nation. This project in particular could not be ANY easier. It is literally making charts in Microsoft Excel and then walking the class through via PowerPoint (another weapon of Satan himself) how you made said chart.
I get the professor’s point. It’s important to learn to work with others, particularly when you have differently personalities and interests. Generally, it’s just an good life skill to develop. But being assigned a group with people that care about their GPA as much as I care about their GPA is disheartening. Working with motivated people pushes you to a higher potential, it’s one of the things that makes you a better, more productive student. But being forced to hold someone’s hand while they pretend to play dumb just isn’t fair. Compounding the problem is how un-challenging the project is. It’s just not fulfilling. Anyway I could rant on and on about this. Before I stop, a note to anyone assigning a group project. 1. Make sure it is challenging. 2. Utilize individual differences in a way that diversifies and enriches the project. 3. Don’t make people “play down.” Instead, find a way to challenge all people involved in a way that fosters teamwork.
I can’t say because I haven’t really been there, but this is the type of group project I think will prepare us for “the real world.”