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Why do instructors assign group assignments? (rant)

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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:53 PM
Original message
Why do instructors assign group assignments? (rant)
I hate, hate, HATE stupid, idiotic, waste-of-my-time-and-energy group assignments. Especially when you can't really choose your group.

I'm sitting in the library at school, where I was supposed to meet a member of my group to (finally) work on a project that is due on TUESDAY!!!! I've been trying to light a fire under these people since the project was assigned 2 weeks ago - its like pulling teeth. We finally managed to get some date together (individually) but I am the only one who has provided the results to the rest of the group - the paper can't be written without all the results, the powerpoint cannot be put together without all the results.

Today I'm supposed to meet with this guy to work on the paper - we were supposed to meet at 12 - it's now 1. I have other shit I've gotta do. He doesn't answer his phone.

If I fail this fucking project, I'm going to be majorly pissed.

Why the hell do instructors do this? It's not fair to students who actually work to get stuck trying to organize a bunch of slackers who don't.

:rant:
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Cabcere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. WORD.
:applause: I totally agree - for me it was the worst in elementary/middle/high school, but it's gotten much better in college. The concept still sucks, though. :thumbsdown: :hug:
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I've heard the theory that "you have to work in groups in the real world"
Well, when I'm getting paid to do a job, I know the people I'm working with have an incentive to get it done - they need the damn job. And if they don't pull their weight, I have some options. I don't have many options here.

I have one instructor who very sensibly assigns a group project in which we all cooperate on the research and share our results but we turn in individual papers. That way, we benefit from each others work but have control over our own. I like that a lot better.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. But they are not any better just because it's for a job.
Some people know that others will pick up their slack, in fear of their jobs, so they act the same way they did in college.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. To get you used to dealing with ass-clowns, teach you to accept the fact that in order to get
something done right you usually have to do it yourself, and prepare you for the horrible realization that no matter what happens, they will be given the same reward for your work anyway.


That way it doesn't hurt so much when they get promoted above you at work.
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm with you
:hug:

Thankfully, I was able to pick my group members, and did so the first day. Not that it's easy to get them to do the work. But, it could be SO much worse.

:hi:
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. Contact your instructor.
You've done your fair share. You can document your effort, show the unanswered calls on your call log, etc. Heck, I'd grab a camera phone shot of the clock at the library to document when you were there.

Your grade should not suffer because you were assigned a group of lazy asshats.

And this is one of the many reasons why I HATE group projects, especially when the groups are assigned.
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'm going to have to
This stupid project is worth a large part of our grade. Pointless exercise in frustration.
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. Was a peeve of mine too
I was sober then and ppl always wanted to meet at a bar. Was like pulling teeth to meet at a library. Now though, I'd be all.. woot a bar! :P

:hi:
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lizerdbits Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. A coworker had a similar problem
In a graduate program one of her group members wanted everyone to SIGN A PLEDGE to get a B or better. That right there was a tip off that this person wasn't going to do shit or was going to turn in crap. Turned out to be the latter and other group members rewrote what was turned in to the group.

Sorry for your frustration. :(
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FunkyLeprechaun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
9. I have a reverse experience with this
I was assigned to a group to do our capstone project (required in your 2nd year at CGS at BU). I had all the free time I had to do the report and tried to contribute to the report.

Meetings were made without me. I know this because the group members would email me saying they met with so-and-so to discuss the paper.

I remember I was really pissed off that they weren't including me in the group. Since I was deaf I thought they'd make an effort to use their computers to include me. E-mail, IM, and all.

But the "self-professed leader" of the group told me it was simply too hard to contact me.

That was one of the most hurtful things I experienced in University. I went to my professor that I've had since 2000 and cried in front of him because I knew that the group would evaluate the others individually and felt that they would say I didn't do enough work. He thought I'd be okay with the group since they were very good students (the "leader" had straight As). I really felt that they were out to undermine me in this project. He had a talk with the other professors to expect behavior from my group.

I did all the research myself and prepared myself for the talk about our paper with the professors. The "leader", thinking I didn't do the work, answered a question that my professor asked and then immediately turned to me, "Is that right, ?" I answered honestly but I could tell that my professors took note of her behavior towards me.

They were really disappointed with her as they gave her a C. My group members (except for one or two people) probably tried to give me a lower grade but I came out of this with a B+.

I really tried my best to get together with people and they didn't really give me that chance.
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