Group Work

February 15, 2008 at 5:42 am (Uncategorized)

I’m really beginning to despise the idea of group work. In my first year of University I groaned, but accepted it as something to aid in my development, as its very likely I may have to work in groups for a job sometime, so its good to get practice now…Here I am in the second semester of my fourth year with FOUR big coursework group projects all due around the same time. Why? I’m in final year, I think I have ample experience with group work projects by now. Quite. And what if I don’t get enough experience or practice before I start my career? Working with people isn’t rocket science, geez, i’ll learn within the first week. Or is it for lecturers to believe that they have “varied teaching methods”. At the end of the day, they read slides, some even plagarize from books, tell us what’s coming for exams, and get paid. Rarely have I ever enjoyed learning in a class. Rarely have I even truely learned.

Worse thing is, group work can affect your grades negatively if fate bands you together with a bunch of assholes. The thing is, UWI is full of assholes. I’ve been lucky thus far to get to work with some smart, hard-working people…most of the time…Everyone’s not as lucky. What will you, the person who would like a good grade in a course through your dedication and hard work, do or be bestowed with if all the people you have to work with can’t spell, use ridiculous grammar, don’t show up for meetings, use only google for research and are just plain stupid? Three options : fail, get a shitty grade, or kill yourself doing the project solo with the large possibility of ending up with the 2 aforementioned results.

Then there’s the drama factor..especially in all-girl groups as I’ve witnessed. Girls always seem to take the whole accepting another girl as the leader or “someone-who’s-done-more-work-than-me” thing…really badly. There’s infighting, backstabbing, sabotage, going to the lecturer to complain about other members, the forming of camps against each other, lying,  power-struggling, crying…real “Real World – Las Vegas” stuff. And all over nonsense. I once witnessed 4 girls not show up for a group meeting called for by another girl because “she arranged the time without consulting with them”..even though they were closeby (they purposely left just before the meeting was planned to be commenced) and their schedules were totally free. Its obvious that they were bitching about the idea of the girl being perceived as the leader…cuz if she’s the leader that would just be the end of their world…6 credits aside.

Its just unfair bullshit. Group work should be optional, peer marking mechanisms should be stronger, or atleast just let the first year students have the fun of doing them….

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