Group Projects and Lazy People

  1. Ok...my Psych professor has assigned an EASY group project. We pick a movie that deals with death and dying and each of us does a short presentation on one of the 5 stages of the grieving process.

    I volunteered to get everyone's e-mail address, and everyone committed to organizing this via e-mail by doing "reply to all"...ok, two weeks into the project, and 2 of the group haven't even picked their topic.

    I e-mailed the professor to ask if it's a group grade or an individual grade, it's a group grade.

    Because it's a presentation, I can't do their part of the project for them...how does everyone here cope with these group projects when one or two individuals just flat out refuse to do anything?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   sunnyjohn
    I have no suggestions, but just reading the topic heading made me angry. I detest group work!

    I always get stuck with Lazy, Crazy and Dizzy- headed Maisy in my group!

    One second thought might I suggest a chair and a whip?
  4. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from hopefull2009
    because it's a presentation, i can't do their part of the project for them...how does everyone here cope with these group projects when one or two individuals just flat out refuse to do anything?
    i feel for you. i've had many group projects in college and i hate these almost as much as finals. there really isn't anything you can do but keep reminding them over and over the deadline is coming due and hope they come through on their end.

    it's a shame colleges feel the need to create these silly group scenarios. they're nothing like the many years i worked in large corporations on projects. a real project has something called a project leader and they crack the whip when necessary.

    a group project done by committee is a recipe for disaster.
  5. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from west_coast_ken
    .....it's a shame colleges feel the need to create these silly group scenarios. they're nothing like the many years i worked in large corporations on projects. a real project has something called a project leader and they crack the whip when necessary.
    a group project done by committee is a recipe for disaster.
    i agree.
  6. by   Daytonite
    the case supporting these assignments is that they give you experience for working in groups and as a team in the business world. but, even on the apprentice, trump has problems with these geniuses. the difference in the business world is that, hopefully, you have a supportive boss who is fair and uses their authority appropriately to start a fire under these kind of people or get rid of them.

    what i always did is made sure that i was in one of the controlling positions in these projects. when i and others who were willing to get the work done saw that a few weren't getting involved i (we) felt there was no choice but to pick up their slack and do their part of the project. any work they are going to contribute is going to be at the last minute and be mediocre at best and i was never willing to let my grade suffer because of them. i also made sure that the instructor knew early on what was going on. i worked with one group where several of the group members actually turned their back on one of these slackers and told her to bugger off when she finally decided at the last minute to get involved after failing to show up for strategy sessions. she ran screaming to the instructor who told her (ha! ha!) that she just had to work it out with the members of the group. the only problem with this is that you are stuck with the slackers often also getting the same grade for all your hard work. however, you really don't have much choice. you either take a lower grade as a result of the slackers not doing their part, or you get a better grade because you took over and did their work. in the incident i referred to, the other members of the group told this student to, basically, sit down and shut up during the oral presentation! she actually had the gall to be mad at them.

    the thing is this. . .in the working nursing world, you can't sit back and ignore problems that come up, which is what slackers like this tend to do. these kind of people just don't make very good nurses and problem solvers because of their procrastination. so, in actuality, it is revealing a serious character flaw in them. hopefully, this will be noted by nursing instructors down the road and get added to the assessment files kept by the nursing departments on their nursing students for future job recommendations. on the bright side, and you have to think to the future to accept this one, think about the experience you are gaining in leadership, management and people skills. i know that sounds kind of lame, but the experience will help you to recognize this kind of person later in life and work situations. it also gives you some experience in learning to adapt, re-evaluate, re-assess and intervene to make changes in plans as they are needed.

    i wouldn't continue to wait for these last 2 people to join in on the project. i would encourage everyone of the current group to split the work equally and just leave these other 2 goof offs out of loop. let the instructor know what has happened. realize that unless the instructor allows you to dump them from your group, you will have to share any grade you get with the 2 deadbeats because you really have no other choice. i would make sure that everyone else knows exactly what these 2 did (not) do for future knowledge. hopefully, you won't be seeing them in nursing classes.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I agree with Daytonite: I am the one in control.

    As an aside, in a psych class, this project may focus on group dynamics too and I thought this especially since you made the comment that the project is easy. It may be harder than you think if the teacher is really looking for how you deal with group dynamics. Good luck.
  8. by   meandragonbrett
    I hate group projects. One thing a professor of mine had to implement was to have the rest of the group rate the other member's involvement and effort into the project...and that rating counted for a percentage of your project score. When that was put into effect, it changed MANY people's attitudes and group projects became a lot easier.
  9. by   locolorenzo22
    I second brett, but we have a pretty close knit class group in our program. If you don't do your share, you can guarentee that no one will want to work with you again, or will let you drown when you need help. I would let instructor know, do the part for them on the chance that they don't do anything.
    I have a group project due in 3 weeks and I've done little so far, I'm generally resigning myself to doing it over the next 2 and putting together the powerpoint on the last weekend. That's what spring break does to you....
  10. by   mudget
    Daytonite, you said it all. Meandragonbrett however makes a great point. You may need to let your professor know exactly who did what (in percentages) in an effort to influence the grade. Only the teacher will know what has transpired score wise, but it may help you to know that you did write that letter. In the mean time, I'm sorry to say, you have to cover the slackers.

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