Group assignments, hit or miss?


Illustration by Sarah Hofstedt

Destiny Nadeau

I’ve been pursuing higher education for a while now, so it’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of group assignments throughout my time at community college and university. And without a doubt, I can safely say they should be struck from the syllabus and never brought up in a class setting again.

Now, I can definitely understand the concept of what a group assignment is supposed to do. You get together with three to four people you may have never met before and try your best to work well with them in order to complete the project for a grade. The problem with this? Not everyone takes school as seriously as other people do, and when you get paired with people that don’t take school as seriously as you may, the workload gets left on you and your grade is forced to suffer.

A group project in a work setting is very different. First and foremost, you’ll most likely already have your degree (unless you’re one of those super lucky people that got a corporate job without having to endure the hardships of college group assignments, if so, good for you. I envy you. Please help me).

Secondly, working together on a project for money is a much better incentive for a grade. Some people just don’t care about their school work and this past week proved this to me. A group member of mine claimed to put our project on the back burner because they had much more important things to accomplish, as if my 4.0 CSUN GPA was something to be trifled with. As if my plans to attend UCLA, USC or Pepperdine would be okay with being put on the “back burner.”

Group projects are the quickest way to divide your classroom and really stress out those students who do take their work seriously. Can you imagine allowing a good portion of your grade to rely on people who turn in assignments late, leave class early, don’t respond to emails and think that their work in other classes take precedence? (Let’s be real here for a second, assignments in all university classes are important. Don’t kid yourself.)

Group assignments don’t work out in anyone’s favor because there’s always someone that won’t pull their weight, and sometimes professors refuse to grade individually and then you get a C- when you are an A student. (Am I salty? Yes, yes, yes I am.)

Professors, I implore you to refrain from putting any group projects on the syllabus. They are unfair to those that actually do work because those that are lazy choose to piggyback off them. Just don’t do it. If group projects are your way of ensuring that we are able to work well in a group, know that half of us work in the food industry because we’re millennials, so yes we know how to work with others.

So even if you’re recycling a syllabus, or creating a new one, make sure to take the damn group assignments off. Not everyone takes their grade seriously and it is the quickest way to ensure someone will lose their mind.