COLUMN: My grade shouldn’t rely on others work in group projects


Maya Kurth, Columnist

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I will work with people for the rest of my life – my major quite literally relies on it, but I don’t think it should be forced in college with group projects. 

I have had a number of group projects toward the end of this semester, and they have almost all been more of a headache than they were worth. I have been pleasantly surprised by the end result for every project, but it has been a massive fight to get people to communicate, despite having a mini-computer in our pockets all of the time. 

I think that group projects during the pandemic are scary enough. I don’t love the idea of meeting up with people I don’t really know to delegate jobs that could have been handled if everyone could check their messages. Zoom is a whole different beast. It doesn’t work reliably, and it can be hard to use connectivity wise. 

I fully understand and advocate for the advantages of learning to work with other people and college is a great place to do that, but the requirement that my grade relies on a stranger’s work doesn’t sit well with me. If portions of a project are assigned to group members, or the option of a solo project is provided, I feel that is acceptable. 

Most of my friends have expressed their disdain for projects of this nature over the semester, and I wish professors would be more understanding. If we were able to select our partners, I might be more receptive to the assignments.  

Personally, more work in the beginning would be preferable to having to pick up the slack of others when due dates are looming – especially at the end of the semester.  

On the other hand, I have had three very pleasant experiences with group projects this semester. I had wonderful partners who did more than their fair share, communicated excellently and were kind throughout the entire experience. I am aware that these experiences will be reflective of the workplace, but it is disheartening that such little effort is still able to fly. 

Coming from the perspective of someone who switched majors, it could just be the school I’m in. When I was a marketing major, I never had collaborative assignments. However, business is usually very independently centered; public relations is not. I can’t say I mind that aspect though, the prospect of dealing with the public is really exciting to me and a big part of why I switched majors. 

Overall, group projects aren’t horrible, and they are a great educational tool for the real world, but there are better ways to determine grades when students are working as a team on one assignment. 

Maya Kurth is a sophomore public relations major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].