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The Dreaded Group Projects

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Hello, everyone.

Looking for some advice..support..

I am currently finishing up my first semester of three in an RN to BSN program. I am going through the program at my local state university. It's all online. While yes, there is a ton of paper writing and such, the only issue I am having are these never-ending group projects. I know most bridge programs have them but mine is feeling excessive. Plus being all online, it's very hard to coordinate. My program requires a 3.5 gpa to get into and I expected more from others in my cohort... But seriously, this is like pulling teeth to get people to contribute or participate at all. I send out numerous emails, organize the project, etc because no one else will ever step up. How bad is it? For one group project I am currently in (and of course the leader for because no one else will do it even though I work FT and due with a baby any day now and everyone else is "too busy") each week 4/10 people participate. I literally have not heard from some people for over three weeks. I have gone to the instructors. They tell me "you've done everything you can as leader, it's up to them to participate now". Okay, but what about the final project? It won't be complete and that's my grade affected! Who then has to step up and do their whole part since they obviously aren't?

So what I'm asking here...Has anyone else here had to deal with this in their programs? Any advice on how to deal with this? I am having anxiety just thinking about dealing with this for two more semesters😩

JoseQuinones

Has 5 years experience.

Do your part and theirs, get your good grade (and they will too) and then let life sort them afterward. Their time is coming.

I know it all feels so unfair, but your primary concern is your grade. Don't let their irresponsibility damage you. School is not the real world, and they will discover this in a hurry when they graduate. Or else lose their jobs.

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB. Has 30 years experience.

Thread moved to General Student forum.

@joseq - thank you for your reply. Your advice has been basically what I've been having to do. It truly does seem unfair, but I guess I at least can have some self pride unlike they can, knowing I'm not a slacker..😛

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

UGH! Having experienced the same thing in multiple undergrad, grad, and post-grad courses, I can totally identify with your frustration. In some grad courses, the instructor included 'peer evaluation' as part of the grading criteria.... so we actually had to rate the contribution of our team members. That was the only thing that seemed to motivate the slackers.

Things changed a bit when I was in post-grad courses... by then, everyone was basically an "A" student with plenty of academic experience under their belts. Some people simply charged ahead with any group project, doing not only their stuff, but everyone else's as well. Srsly, by the time we had our first project meeting, these over-achievers would provide the group with three different versions of the completed project. It was bit deflating, and a real struggle to prevent them from steamrolling over the group.

Just wanted to provide some perspective & let you know that you have been heard. In the meantime, make sure you keep track of the slackers & avoid 'grouping' with them again whenever possible.

UGH! Having experienced the same thing in multiple undergrad, grad, and post-grad courses, I can totally identify with your frustration. In some grad courses, the instructor included 'peer evaluation' as part of the grading criteria.... so we actually had to rate the contribution of our team members. That was the only thing that seemed to motivate the slackers.

Things changed a bit when I was in post-grad courses... by then, everyone was basically an "A" student with plenty of academic experience under their belts. Some people simply charged ahead with any group project, doing not only their stuff, but everyone else's as well. Srsly, by the time we had our first project meeting, these over-achievers would provide the group with three different versions of the completed project. It was bit deflating, and a real struggle to prevent them from steamrolling over the group.

Just wanted to provide some perspective & let you know that you have been heard. In the meantime, make sure you keep track of the slackers & avoid 'grouping' with them again whenever possible.

Thank you for the response and encouragement! I'm totally keeping track of the slackers... Seems to be most people in the program haha. I went through like the crazy person I am and looked at all discussion board posts this semester and reached out to those who have timely and decent posts. So hopefully next semester, we can team up!!

In my program we are allowed to grade the members of our group. We turn the grades in the day we present then the instructor hands official grades out accordingly. After all, if I am the one doing all the work, then they sure as hell aren't gonna get my A!

Do what you have to do to get the project done and maybe give your instructor a heads up about your group members not participating in the completion of the project.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

It's been my experience that instructors usually know who is and is not participating. I have also had instructors who had us grade our other group members. I'm always very honest. I had a sociology class where I ended up doing the entire thing. This was a class where the people just didn't gel together well. It was partly the instructor's fault because she was late for class every week and was just generally a hot mess and never got the class to participate together. I was really mad after that group project. My other classes I have never really had a problem. Especially in the nursing program, people really have participated. I truly hate group projects as well, but I have realized that they will always be there and just suck it up and get it done. I would think since this is online you will have the opportunity to grade the people in your group. Make sure you tell the truth so you get the right grade.

rob4546, ADN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU/ Surgery/ Nursing Education. Has 7 years experience.

Seem to fit here...

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Hahaha wow...That is so so spot on

rnsheri

Specializes in Med/Surg, orthopedics, urology. Has 3 years experience.

It's terrible, but true. In school, we had research groups of six, and two of us did everything. Not saying others didn't contribute, but the two of us liked getting things done early. Other group members had children and that complicated things, schedule-wise. In fact, there were a million schedule conflicts, be it kids, jobs, family, school, etc. All I can day is that the madness ends! I love my work team, but BSN group projects are not missed. I would get the good grade, vent, and move on. It's not fair or right, but thank God it's behind me!

My wife and I have had similar experience with group projects. Ex. - A 2 person assigned project for the semester and the other person is "on bed rest- SERIOUSLY??" and cannot contribute past week #1!!!!

Oh well, We just finished the project for an "A+" for both of us.....We're just trusting "Karma" to catch up and pay us back....and it DID!!!! Just remember, God is always watching! We pray for those who are in a project with us and push ahead with 150% effort to get it done!

I finished my degree 2 years ago so I know exactly what you are talking about. State college online. Yes, many group projects. Having just completed my Adn 6 months before entering BSN program I was geared to making straight A's, unlike others who just wanted to pass with a C. I made sure to be leader every time after first project where we got a B because so many sloppy mistakes and no one would fix them. One paper I stayed up all night the night before it was due because someone just copy and pasted their part and we were continuously warned about plagerism. After class was finished and grades were posted, I emailed professor to tell her what had happened. She said I should have notified her when it happened and the group would not have been penalized, just the person who plagerized. I felt wrong ratting but I was really tired of doing all of the work. I had one guy say, y'all just do it, I am going to ride my horse! Like I didn't have things I would have rather been doing. But isn't this how nursing is? There are some that work hard, some that don't and some that are happy with the minimum. So I bucked down, and did my best work so that I could get the grade I wanted. I wouldn't have been happy without doing my best.

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

I'm with Jose.

I did my graduate work for IT all online, and since it was IT, pretty much everything was a group project (as it is in the real world).

So pretend it's the real world. If someone isn't doing "their fair share," do you run and tell the teacher/boss, do you mope about it, or do you shine?

If you don't know the answer to this question, please refer to the article titled, "If you want to get ahead, don't worry about the failures of others, worry about your own success."

Your simple needs are these: A BSN, and a GPA above a certain level.

Concentrate on these.

Self-defeating comments about how your situation is something, or not something, isn't going to help anything including your attitude. In the real world, no one cares if you're pregnant, missing a leg, or tired. They only care whether you can make their life better, or worse. You may get brief sympathy, but that sympathy will turn into disdain if you bring it up more than once a quarter.

There are a lot of things that can help with group projects in an environment where you're just getting to know eachother. I've been the project manager on hundreds of projects, and I can tell you that simple techniques work well part of the time on some people. The most important concept that leads to technique is accountability, and the human features accountability (in public) affects most are a desire to appear to be doing well/doing your job/contributing, and embarrassment. Even turds feel embarrassed when they have to show up to a meeting and can't produce what they agreed to produce at the last meeting. Schedules, skype or other real-time group meetings where you go over deliverables, discussing deliverables that were not met, and so on. You'll generally find that 90% of people will up their involvement if they have to be at a "real" meeting and talk about their deliverables for the week/3 day period or whatever. In every group or two, there will be a person who is just a plain turd, pretty much like the real world. You'll be annoyed that they're (theoretically) going to get the same degree as you, but you should take satisfaction in knowing that their life probably is less satisfying because people, well, don't like their lazy ass, and it'll flow beyond school into the 'real world.'

In short, worry about your goals, hold real-time meetings where each person's schedule and deliverables are discussed, and take satisfaction in knowing no one else likes that one turd either.

Live by the mantra I tell your kids, "Fair? I told you FAIR-y tales when you were two. You're almost an adult now. Fair doesn't exist, only needs, desires, and results."

Do your part and theirs, get your good grade (and they will too) and then let life sort them afterward. Their time is coming.

I know it all feels so unfair, but your primary concern is your grade. Don't let their irresponsibility damage you. School is not the real world, and they will discover this in a hurry when they graduate. Or else lose their jobs.

I am in agreement with one of the other responses, I have been in groups and I did all the work and they did little to NONE. I am NOT a tattle-tale, but I finally had my fill, finished the project and told my instructor that the only individuals who did any work as a, b and me, the others did NOTHING. That is all you can do!! If you want to fail because they don't want to do the work, your choice, or you can complete the work and get the good grade............gotta remember karma!! Your hard work will pay off!!

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

Appropriate pie chart.

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