There is nothing worse than showing up to class and hearing the teacher say you will be assigned a group project, then they proceed to group you up with class members who you know will do absolutely nothing to contribute. Or maybe you are that latter-described class member.
I get that group projects have some beneficial aspects, such as learning how to divide responsibilities, gaining the perspectives of peers and learning how to work well with others, but do they really ever go that smoothly?
The answer is no.
One student in the group usually gets stuck with most of the responsibilities, while others may try to slack depending on who they are in a group with. Other group members may just be shyer and feel intimidated trying to contribute to the project.
So what is the answer to this dilemma?
A lot of the resolution can come from the teacher’s end of things. Of course group work needs to stay in the classroom, it has ample amounts of benefits for students, but making sure it is implemented in a helpful way is the tricky part of things.
It all starts with students being taught how to work in a team from a young age. Being able to effectively communicate with those around you is an important skill to possess, no matter the occupation or environment one is in. Another way to improve group work is by having set group roles in order to ensure each person is contributing an equal amount of effort to the assignment. Self and peer evaluations are another implementation in the classroom that can provide constructive feedback for the good and the bad of the group work.
As a current student, I understand why other students think group work is the worst. It can be stressful, intimidating and daunting. But on the other hand, as a future teacher, I understand what the benefits of group work can be if used effectively. Therefore, group work should always have a place in the classroom.