Group Projects, They Just Aren’t Working

Group Projects, They Just Aren’t Working

Brooke Kruger, Opinion Writer

There has been a long-standing debate between college students over the benefits of group work. Some prefer solo work, while others enjoy the help of a team. What students are not given the option of enough, is the ability to choose whether they want to work as part of a group.  

For the students that despise group work, they should be able to choose to work alone on the given assignment, project, or final. Group work in college does not give professors the ability to recognize individual students’ success. Teamwork is often graded on the project, with a small amount of influence coming from peer evaluations. The most common way to complete a group project is by dividing up the work equally among team members. This often does not work as planned. 

Although at the beginning of the project the work is evenly split, it almost never ends up being completed as so. A heavier workload often falls on one student. This individual was most likely the one to reach out to their peers when teams were assigned, set up Zoom meetings, help distribute the work, and assumed the unofficial role of ‘team leader.’ For some reason, when one member of the group shows slight hints of leadership and productivity, other members interpret this as an invitation to decrease the quantity and quality of their contributions. This leavea large portion of the group project to one person.  

With the pressure to complete their work, convince group members to do their parts, and hoping they contribute something before the due date, certain students are often overwhelmed by group assignments. Obviously, all college students lead different lifestyles. Some are Greek life members, athletes, part-time employees, or interns. The time commitment a student can allow for a project may be different than someone else’s. This does not mean it is acceptable to place students in a setting where they are wondering, several hours before the deadline, if their group mates are going to do their parts of the project.  

Professors explain successful teamwork is about communication. Individuals are going to need to learn how to work in teams for future careers. Although this may be true, college students do not rely on their group projects for a salary. Some are taking select classes for essential studies and may not particularly be interested in them. To be blunt, some students just don’t care enough. The student assuming the leadership role could send out a group email and not receive responses until days later. Students find it acceptable to simply not show up for team zooms. As much as professors think that students can be successful in groups with proper communication, group members cannot be forced to contribute.  

Aside from the differing amounts of contribution amongst peers, quality of work is also an issue. Individuals fuel a dislike for group work by producing low-quality content. Writing skills slip below the college level, research is not thorough and presentation requirements are ignored. Students producing work to the best of their ability are punished as their grades are reduced because of other members’ lack of commitment 

Group work simply just is not working in college. Students should have the option to choose a solo version of the assignment and be accountable for their own grades. Individuals have the exhaustion of carrying the team lifted from their shoulders. Students working hard and dedicating their time should not be suffering due to the lack of commitment from others. Students should be solely responsible for their personal success.  


Brooke Kruger is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]