I'm having a grump day....(how can I fix this?)

  1. In our program, in Life Span class, we have had 2 actual classes (this entire semester), then she (the instructor) sends us out to do assessments on different age groups and we have to write up an APA format paper for these different assessments....
    We have had to redo every paper so far, because of lack of group work. In my group, there are 3 girls that live with parents and are in thier 20's, another who is in her 30's but drags a bratty 4 y/o everywhere (and when I say brat, I mean brat...yells at her mom and says, "I hate you!" at the top of her lungs...) and me. "Group work" consists of getting together and while 2 are arguing over APA format and references, another is trying to get on MSN messenger to chat and the other is always late.... :angryfire
    So I have given up and have offered to do the papers on my own. Never have I gotten a bad grade on an APA format paper, so I thought this would be the easy way to go. But no....I send the paper to everyone in the group to look at (trying to be a good group worker) and what happens? It gets chopped to he** and back. :stone They insert references that are quotes from half the page of the blasted text, insert "jokes" into the text....it's awful! then they wonder why we get bad grades and have the papers returned!
    Tomorrow, we are having another assessment at my house (the young lady we are assessing is my son's girlfriend, and she agreed, but it had to be here). AFTER this was all set up, THEN I am informed that 2 of the girls in the group are bringing their kids! Yes...the bratty 4 y/o, her monster 12 y/o sister, and another girl is bringing her 7 month old.
    I can feel myself becoming bitter and angry at my group-mates, especially the one with the kids...I am a very strict mother, and would never allow my children to "play" on the schools computers or to throw themselves to the floor kicking and screaming and yelling "I hate you!" at the top of her lungs....Then she tells me, "You just have no patience with kids". No. I have patience...just not tolerance for bad behavior.
    And I am also becoming increasingly upset that the papers continue to be returned when I know I send out good work and it gets chopped to he**. The marks we have on the papers are the extreme citations, and bad grammer (which are usually together and have been inserted by someone else in the group).
    Sorry about the length everyone..just grumping today. I really hate this class...and what it's doing to classmates who *used* to be fairly close in some aspects of the game...
    How would you guys handle this situation? I am all for having the best grades I can get, and I feel I am being brought down by all this "group" work. I can guarantee that not one person in the group has or will be prepared for the assessment tomorrow by reading or by having notes and or questions for the young lady.
    Just tired of it...really tired of it....
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Roseyposey
    I wish I had a brilliant solution for you; unfortunately all I can do is commiserate. I hate group projects - they don't teach anything and work only to bring bad students up and good students down. They are anxiety riddled events for me, and it is my personal opinion they should be outlawed! I took a Psych class that required a group paper, now it is an important detail that this was an on-line course. Not exactly an environment conducive to group projects (if one exists). One of the members of my group was an English major; silly me assumed she would be able to write a decent paragraph . It was beyond bad. We passed our portions around via email; hers was so awful, it was painful to read. I was embarrassed to put my name on it. The only suggestion I could offer, and it may not be possible, is to have a face-to-face meeting to edit each other's papers rather than doing it separately. That way you could support your writing and hopefully curtail the jokes and general bs that's happening now. :smiley_ab Good luck!
  4. by   Tweety
    Why oh why do nursing schools insist on group projects. They are to stress and anxiety producing. Supposedly it helps us in the real world. But give me a break.

    Good luck to you.
  5. by   tiroka03
    In my communications class, we had a group project. It was by far the worst experience of my school career - going back to grade school. I was 39 at the time and the rest of my group were 18 and 19. Most were there because it was a way to pass the time. No one was serious. I have no idea how we made a C on the project. When it was time to present it, I had no idea even what the topic was, little alone what my part was. There was no communication with me, as who wanted to talk to this old hag. The group time was spend talking about parties, drugs and sex. FUN FUN FUN.

    Some groups aren't meant to be. I learned absoulty nothing. I hated it. This kind of thing should be outlawed.

    However, getting into a decent group, like in my nursing class, would have turned out so much differently.

    So, go ahead, cry in your soup. You have had to endure something which is abusive to you. IT IS WRONG.

    WHile I am a proponet of group work, in school, it doesn't work. At work, it has a better chance, as your job depends on it, not just a grade.
  6. by   grinnurse

    Sorry to hear about the group problem but can relate totally to it. Usually it is the good students that worry about their grades mixed in with the ones that don't give a darn. To me, they ought to put the bad students with the bad students and visa versa. I can't believe they are bringing their kids....... Can you approach them and tell them this assignment should be viewed as a "clinical" setting and that no kids are allowed? I know it will probably hurt some feelings but how can you get anything accomplished? We always have to do a paper on "group" process at the end of our group projects do you? Maybe you could address some of those issues in that paper so it might not affect your grade as much.

    Our last group project was on different cultures and a good friend of mine did not have exactly the same problems, but had a really bad group. We had to present in front of the class and the presenter for their group looked like an absolute SLOB and though the group got taken off, my friend got high marks for her contribution. When she turned in the group process form she was honest about who did all the work and who the slackers were. They had to meet with the instructor and now for the next group project (thank goodness it's the last for us) the instructor told them how it was going to be structured and who was going to do what!!

    I don't get the point of them either?? I suppose it is to foster team work or some such thing but usually it makes you know who you don't want to work with instead!!

    Just try to hang in there and know that most of us have been there at one time or another and hopefully you won't ever get those people in your group again!!

    Good Luck
    Grinnurse
  7. by   manna
    I dislike group projects too, and sadly we have a TON this semester.

    Our program has a policy on group projects - that if someone did not participate meaningfully to the project, the other team members can sign off and that person's grade will be docked significantly. Might leave some hurt feelings, but so far none of us have had to use that option... it keeps everyonel involved! :chuckle
  8. by   nesher
    Group projects are the bane of nursing students around the world. That said there is a reason for them - yes they are real world - the world in which people work together to get things done.
    I have two suggestions.
    1) It doesn't sound like anyone has taken the leadership position in this group. I suggest you do so. I suggest you have a very serious discussion about what is going on in the group - "we are all adults and I expect us all to do our work." I would talk to them about THEIR suggestions and how they see adding jokes or tearing something apart without putting it back toegether is helpful. I would talk to them about your position - because of course you can only talk for youself, but how the behavior of the group is affecting you and you are very serious about the work, and the grade you receive.
    Perhaps you, having taken the leadership role can delegate what needs to be done. If each person has a role, then perhaps they can be more responsible as everyone is counting on them to complete that role.
    2) Talk with your professor. Let him/her know your struggles and how you are going about making changes within the group. They might have suggestions!

    As I said group work will follow you through school - I had my best group in grad school - the prof tried something creative and split us up based on a personality test we took. Our group was the most successful - in fact we continued to work together on stuff thoroughout school.
    Another aside - I am interviewing around these days and guess what? They always ask about group process - failures, success - they want to hear about the successess - want to know you can work with anyone and still get the job done.
    Good luck - let me know how it goes.
  9. by   hypnotic_nurse
    nesher's right -- you need a leader.

    And another point to consider -- just because you *ask* your classmates for input, doesn't mean you have to include it unless it's valuable.
  10. by   DenaInWyo
    [QUOTE=
    WHile I am a proponet of group work, in school, it doesn't work. At work, it has a better chance, as your job depends on it, not just a grade.[/QUOTE]

    If I had to pick just one thing as the part of school I dislike the most, it would be group work. The only justification I have ever heard an instructor come up with for it is that tired old "It teaches you real world experience"

    BS.

    In the real world, when your team members are slacking, you don't loose a dollar an hour from your pay.

    We are all paying WAAAAAAAAY too much for school and have WAAAAAAY too much riding on it to have our grades depend on the dedication of someone other than ourselves.

    That said, I sure wish I had some good advice for you. Sorry you are facing this rotten situation. Would it help to have a meeting with your instructor and see what she has to say in the way of advice? At least she would know that SOMEONE in your group gives a d*mn about their grade.

    Deana
  11. by   fotografe
    First of all you need to talk to your instructor. Explain how the brunt of the work has fallen on you, how the others behave in group meetings, and what happpens to what you have written when the group gets ahold of it. Give her your original work. Ask her how you should deal with this group dynamic. Given that all the work is group papers, part of what the instructor wants you to learn is working as a group towards an end goal. Sometimes, that is just not possible. See what the instructor says and let us know what happens.



    Quote from Julielpn
    In our program, in Life Span class, we have had 2 actual classes (this entire semester), then she (the instructor) sends us out to do assessments on different age groups and we have to write up an APA format paper for these different assessments....
    We have had to redo every paper so far, because of lack of group work. In my group, there are 3 girls that live with parents and are in thier 20's, another who is in her 30's but drags a bratty 4 y/o everywhere (and when I say brat, I mean brat...yells at her mom and says, "I hate you!" at the top of her lungs...) and me. "Group work" consists of getting together and while 2 are arguing over APA format and references, another is trying to get on MSN messenger to chat and the other is always late.... :angryfire
    So I have given up and have offered to do the papers on my own. Never have I gotten a bad grade on an APA format paper, so I thought this would be the easy way to go. But no....I send the paper to everyone in the group to look at (trying to be a good group worker) and what happens? It gets chopped to he** and back. :stone They insert references that are quotes from half the page of the blasted text, insert "jokes" into the text....it's awful! then they wonder why we get bad grades and have the papers returned!
    Tomorrow, we are having another assessment at my house (the young lady we are assessing is my son's girlfriend, and she agreed, but it had to be here). AFTER this was all set up, THEN I am informed that 2 of the girls in the group are bringing their kids! Yes...the bratty 4 y/o, her monster 12 y/o sister, and another girl is bringing her 7 month old.
    I can feel myself becoming bitter and angry at my group-mates, especially the one with the kids...I am a very strict mother, and would never allow my children to "play" on the schools computers or to throw themselves to the floor kicking and screaming and yelling "I hate you!" at the top of her lungs....Then she tells me, "You just have no patience with kids". No. I have patience...just not tolerance for bad behavior.
    And I am also becoming increasingly upset that the papers continue to be returned when I know I send out good work and it gets chopped to he**. The marks we have on the papers are the extreme citations, and bad grammer (which are usually together and have been inserted by someone else in the group).
    Sorry about the length everyone..just grumping today. I really hate this class...and what it's doing to classmates who *used* to be fairly close in some aspects of the game...
    How would you guys handle this situation? I am all for having the best grades I can get, and I feel I am being brought down by all this "group" work. I can guarantee that not one person in the group has or will be prepared for the assessment tomorrow by reading or by having notes and or questions for the young lady.
    Just tired of it...really tired of it....

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