Group project rant

  1. It really annoys me when you have a total of 4 people involved in a group project, two are actually doing the work, one doesn't even bother to show up for class (or shows up over an hour late when he does) or contact us (i've contacted him several times with no replies, except for "i'm workin' on it" and never elaborates just what "it" is even after asking), the other sits around during class and whines "i don't know what we're ("we're???") doing" yet hasn't even begun to research their their part of it, but has plenty of time to text-message her b/f while we're supposed to be discussing this project (yes, i pointed out how inconsiderate the cell phone thing was). It is not up to the others in her group to hold her hand and to point her in the direction. I'm all for helping someone, but she needs to stop using the desk for a footstool, and use it to write ideas on. Not to mention stop using the school computer for AIM, and use it for project research, which is why the prof. sent us in the comp room to start with. How many professors do you know that will take an hour of class time, to dedicate to internet researching. Most would say "do it at home."

    This presentation, along with a 2000 word essay to accompany it is due next Tuesday (8 days from now).

    The prof. said that if we had any problems to let him know (just emailed him for the 3rd time over this). And i'm really hoping that mine and the other guy's grade are not affected by those that aren't taking this seriously. I know the other guy got tired of sounding like a broken record, trying to figure out what the other two are doing, etc. And i'm sick and tired of both of us killing ourselves for this project, and other people not giving a crap if they help or not.

    Cannot wait till this class is over. I'm all for teamwork, if the whole team participates, but since that's not the case, i'd rather not have group projects.
    •  
  2. 61 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    I know how angry you are about this. If it were me, I would just work with the other person in my group and between the two of us get the project done. If the instructor won't let the other two idiots out of the group I'll just have to take them along for the ride or my grade is going to suffer. It hurts, I know. But, until you have some control over who you can pick for your group projects, you're kind of in a rut here. You are not alone. Even volunteer organizations have this problem where many volunteer, but only a handful do the actual work. What happens is these productive workers get tired of the same old crap and finally drop out of the organization. One of the things we learn about the time we are on our deathbeds is that you just can't make anybody (except for your kids, perhaps) do anything they don't want to do. So, there you are. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. You've got to chose your priorities: a good grade, or pushing on a string. My personal preference would be to go for the good grade. Pushing on a string is futile.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I'll take a bad grade in that class before i'll take part in other people wanting a free ride, and they wind up passing the class as a result of other people's work. It goes against my principles.
  5. by   1Tulip
    This is a great issue to raise. I've been on both sides. As a student, the EXACT thing happened to me... many times. I was always furious at the slugs that road on the coat tails of those of us who were trying hard for a good grade.

    But I've been a professor too. It's a good thing to give students some big projects where they do some real digging into the literature, synthesize what they read and apply it to a clinical problem. But, there are two draw backs. One is, realistically the projects might be too much for one student. And the second is, it takes an eternity to grade just one of these papers (if you want to give good feedback and a fair grade.) So if there are 70 students in the class, long research papers are just impossible to handle individually.

    After a while, I just gave up on them. However, I still used them for extra credit for students who were barely passing on the exams. Some students don't test well, and this sort of assignment allows them to demonstrate what they know and how they learn.

    But I understand exactly how you feel about group projects. (Our profs always told us we were getting the assignment so we could learn principles of "group dynamics." Well, we learned alright, we learned that every group has at least one dullard who has no shame about letting others do his/her work.)
  6. by   Daytonite
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I'll take a bad grade in that class before i'll take part in other people wanting a free ride, and they wind up passing the class as a result of other people's work. It goes against my principles.
    Whoa! You would rather compromise your GPA? That's kind of suicidal, isn't it? I can't help thinking that you are saying you would cut off your nose to spite your face. I'd look at this whole thing overall. Ten or twenty years from now, this project isn't going to mean much, but however it might have affected your grade will. What if you decide to go to graduate school and you discover your grades just weren't high enough to get accepted? Our situations and wants and needs change over time. If there is anything I have learned in all my years, it's that fighting for one's principles often has a high cost that takes years and years to pay off. Prioritizing occurs across all aspects of our lives, not just in our nursing jobs. Our society puts a lot of effort into romanticizing the stories of people who stand up for their rights. It just isn't that pretty an outcome as depicted on movies and TV. Our culture is one based on revolt and a successful revolution (against Britain), but the people who lived during those times paid a great price for their actions.

    I've had this happen in a couple of classes I've had over the years. It's not worth it to fight against these space cadets at my own expense. In the end, these do-nothings will fail and fall of their faces. They may pass the class at your expense, but they will fail life. Anyway, with the attitudes you've described they're probably not putting much of an effort in to studying anyway, so I wouldn't look for them to get any kind of great grades. But, there are benefits for you to reap from this. One is to note one of the major problems with teamwork. These kind of air heads are all throughout nursing. As a potential RN and supervisor you will need to develop strategies to learn how to handle them. Two is that the only person you really have control over is you. I'm asking myself, do you have control here in this situation? I would see this as a perfect opportunity to take charge and run the project. I love control when I can get it. Three is successfully learning how to do research. As you go into higher and higher levels of nursing you need to know how to research information on your own. Here's a perfect opportunity for you. Four is how to change horses in the middle of the stream when things aren't going right. That goes on all the time in nursing, but you must know that. You always have to have a Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, and so on! Five is that you didn't let a couple of twits dictate how to run your student life which is what I think you are letting happen. Please re-think your situation here.
    Quote from 1Tulip
    (Our profs always told us we were getting the assignment so we could learn principles of "group dynamics." Well, we learned alright, we learned that every group has at least one dullard who has no shame about letting others do his/her work.)
    How true! My first upper division nursing class was one in group dynamics and we had two who kept dragging their feet, never came to our group meetings and didn't turn in their share of the writing for our paper until the day before it was due! I was the one typing up the entire thing and I was up most of the night typing and putting the pages together. I only had an Apple II back then with a matrix dot printer that couldn't do near the stuff software does today. What I did learn from it was the importance of following up on what people were doing with their assignments (this directly impacted my work as a nurse) and having alternative plans. Though I looked at it at the time as a kind of half-as--d final product, the repercussions on my own education in life has been pretty important.
  7. by   Tweety
    Good luck Marie. I understand that in the world after college we have to learn how to do group projects, but I wish instructors wouldn't insist on it in their courses. I hate group projects.
  8. by   IMustBeCrazy
    Time to camp out at the prof's door. THREE EMAILS? Sounds like the 2 in your group are not the only slugs on this project...
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I have done many online classes and they all had group projects. In two instances, I was in a group of three to four people, where only two of us did the work. After discussing (and keeping copies of everything) with the slackers, we dropped their names from the project and emailed the professor saying they did nothing. It was quick, simple and didn't hurt our grade. I will add that we did keep the professor in the loop and we kept good documentation. In the "real world" slackers get fired, so we fired them too.
  10. by   URO-RN
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I have done many online classes and they all had group projects. In two instances, I was in a group of three to four people, where only two of us did the work. After discussing (and keeping copies of everything) with the slackers, we dropped their names from the project and emailed the professor saying they did nothing. It was quick, simple and didn't hurt our grade. I will add that we did keep the professor in the loop and we kept good documentation. In the "real world" slackers get fired, so we fired them too.
    :yeahthat: Fire them.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Daytonite
    Whoa! You would rather compromise your GPA? That's kind of suicidal, isn't it? I can't help thinking that you are saying you would cut off your nose to spite your face. I'd look at this whole thing overall. Ten or twenty years from now, this project isn't going to mean much, but however it might have affected your grade will. What if you decide to go to graduate school and you discover your grades just weren't high enough to get accepted? Our situations and wants and needs change over time. If there is anything I have learned in all my years, it's that fighting for one's principles often has a high cost that takes years and years to pay off. Prioritizing occurs across all aspects of our lives, not just in our nursing jobs. Our society puts a lot of effort into romanticizing the stories of people who stand up for their rights. It just isn't that pretty an outcome as depicted on movies and TV. Our culture is one based on revolt and a successful revolution (against Britain), but the people who lived during those times paid a great price for their actions.

    I've had this happen in a couple of classes I've had over the years. It's not worth it to fight against these space cadets at my own expense. In the end, these do-nothings will fail and fall of their faces. They may pass the class at your expense, but they will fail life. Anyway, with the attitudes you've described they're probably not putting much of an effort in to studying anyway, so I wouldn't look for them to get any kind of great grades. But, there are benefits for you to reap from this. One is to note one of the major problems with teamwork. These kind of air heads are all throughout nursing. As a potential RN and supervisor you will need to develop strategies to learn how to handle them. Two is that the only person you really have control over is you. I'm asking myself, do you have control here in this situation? I would see this as a perfect opportunity to take charge and run the project. I love control when I can get it. Three is successfully learning how to do research. As you go into higher and higher levels of nursing you need to know how to research information on your own. Here's a perfect opportunity for you. Four is how to change horses in the middle of the stream when things aren't going right. That goes on all the time in nursing, but you must know that. You always have to have a Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, and so on! Five is that you didn't let a couple of twits dictate how to run your student life which is what I think you are letting happen. Please re-think your situation here.
    I've looked at this thing overall, which is why i've come to this conclusion. Has nothing to do with any romanticizing.

    I'm not taking charge and running this project, it is a team project, and we should all have remotely equal parts in it. Plus, taking charge isn't fair to the other person im my group, who has worked just as hard on this.

    I am not letting a lazy person get credit for my work, and the other person in this group has already said they won't either. It is not cutting our noses, it's a matter of people who work their butts off, while others sit back and get the points for it as if they actually did something. My theory is if we can do it, so can they. It's not a matter that they can't, it's a matter that they won't.

    They are not dictating how i run my life, if we were to let them get the credit for what we have done, then they'd be dictating our lives.
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from IMustBeCrazy
    Time to camp out at the prof's door. THREE EMAILS? Sounds like the 2 in your group are not the only slugs on this project...
    No he's replied to every email i've sent, i was just leaving an email trail about this. I received a 4th email that says for me and the other person to continue what we've been doing (our own work, sending the emails to the others) and when our presentation day comes around, and if nothing's changed, we'll get graded by what we did, even if the others provide nothing.
  13. by   ats
    Marie, I went through this countless times in nursing school as well, and it fried my butt no end. The last group project we were assigned was different though -- the instructor included a form to be turned in by every member of the group, rating the participants on a 0-4 scale for essential parts of the presentation (i.e., research, organization, preparing presentation materials, etc.). It removed the onus of carrying those few people who just couldn't be bothered, and everyone's grades were adjusted according to their work. (One girl even told me that she was "way busy" and had no time to participate; she showed up for the presentation, grabbed part of the prepared notes, and had the guts to get up and present. She got a big ZERO from the other three members for all of her trouble.)

    Maybe you could suggest such a form to your instructor?

    Edited to add: By the way, welcome to HOG!!
  14. by   gauge14iv
    You know...

    Had one class where group project was such that we graded each other - we graded the two who did nothing accordingly, the entire group got the same grade - the grade of the person who had the lowest grade according to our evaluations of each other.

    Another group in another class - we graded each other again - but this time we got the grade according to how we each did - the entire group did not get the same grade. That was fair - and we were allowed to boot non-participating members - which we did!

    Yet another group - we all got the same grade no matter who did what according to the grade on the project.

    you know, there is only one fair way to do group project grading and that is the 2nd way.

    And you would hope people would outgrow this BS by the time they get to grad school considering most of us are older than the average young'un - but I can tell you from experience they don't.

    I just finished my last group project EVER last week - pulling people along by the teeth stinks! It was in that group that I received the absolute ugliest email I have ever receieved. You know - some battles just aren't worth picking. She's the one who has to look herself in the eye when she brushes her teeth in the morning, I just hope she treats patients in a more courteous manner than she treated me. Had the issue been pushed, I had the email and all the supporting docs.

close