Why Class Group-Work Does Not Teach Teamwork

25 May

Here’s another old draft I stumbled upon.  I do dislike teamwork when my grade is on the line.  I want to earn my OWN grades.  It shouldn’t be influenced by the work ethic of other people.  And it should be left to chance–what group members you get.  Also, I shouldn’t have to do every aspect of a big project in order to get a good grade out of it.

I HATE group work!

jumbo turtleNo one ever asks me to join their group, so it’s always awkward to get into a group in the first place.  I only want to do my own work (which is of outstanding caliber *truth, not bragging*) not be humiliated when no one wants to include me in their team.  Then, IF I do find a group everyone in the group knows each other and wanted to work together except me, so that’s more awkwardness.

And, in class–who do you sit by?  Friends.  People sit by friends, or they end up getting to be friends because of location.  People that sit in front are older students or sight-impaired, or very studious, generally.  While those in the back are too cool for school and want to text and chatter during class.  So you get partnered up with like people anyway.

An example of a group project gone awry–not my fault:

MY group sat in a row.  The fifth girl in the row, was the writer, I was the first on the opposite side of the row.  And the Green Bluff 2 025three gals in between talked about their “juicing” diets.  The writer organized our paper by name (douchi) instead of just writing a half page and putting everyone’s name at the top.  Though I had written an answer for EVERY theory (when we were only supposed to address one) this writer wrote a literal sentience for my name.  She wrote a paragraph under each of her friends though they had contributed ZERO because of the juice diet discussion.  And under her own name, the writer wrote a half page.  Bitch.  So it was made to look like I was a slacker.

My worst group project ever–also not my fault:

My Farm Plan

pretty in pinkMy senior year at Mizzou everyone had to take a capstone course in their major.  Hog Production is what fit into my schedule–though I didn’t intend on working with hogs and had no strong interest in them.  Anyway, our semester project was to write this big, involved farm plan and present it.  All in a group of 4.  The big thing was that the plan had to utilize everything we learned in class AND be consistent   Meaning all 4 group members had to have the same set-up.  Before Thanksgiving break I e-mailed my group and told them I would be happy to edit their portions, as well as type them all in one document–as a pre-vet student I needed an A in every class, and this project was the biggest component of our grade.

None of my three group members had STARTED the semester-long farm plan at that point in late November!!!!  By turkeyNovember–with only a month left of class.  Hadn’t.  Even.  Started.  Now, what am I supposed to do about that?  So I wrote the prof. explaining the situation and asking what I should do.  He just assured me in all his years of doing this project the groups have always come together by the end.

So no help.

And sure enough, come grading time my (assigned) group members with senioritis and plans to work for their family farms in a week or so (ie not pre-vet and not concerned about one course grade) had not completed the farm plans, and the ones that had slapped it together.  So even though MY portion was worthy of an A (the prof even said that), as a group we got a C-!  When I complained to the prof I should not be graded based on other people’s caliber of work–he just said he had always graded them as groups for the 20-some years he had been doing this, and he had never before seen a group that didn’t come together as mine hadn’t. . .  I got a C in that class 😦  NOT fair.

So that’s a huge reason why I’m anti-group work.  And here’s a bad dream I had related to group work:

To dream that you are in a bus accident suggests that it is time for you to move away from a group setting and venture out on your own. You need to be more independent.

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