Vent – Group Projects

posted 3 years ago in College
Post # 3
Member
5192 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I don’t think asking the teacher for an alternative project is really an option here.  At least at my university it wouldn’t have been.  Sometimes you have to work with a crappy group.  

I say try to get through the project, and be more bold about confronting these people head on if they are pulling shenanigans.

Post # 4
Member
1248 posts
Bumble bee

@Cornmuffin09:  What kind of class is this? Telling the professor that there is s problem might help you. Under extreme circumstances,  I may reassign a student or at least take it into consideration when grading.

Post # 5
Member
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Cornmuffin09:  The fact that they were going through your bag is completely unacceptable.  You should have confronted them then and there!  Now, I would write to your professor and say, “Dear Professor McGonagall:  I need to change groups for our transfiguration project.  I am uncomfortable working with the group because I am worried about my belongings.  The other day, I had to take a phone call, so I left the room where we were working.  When I returned, one of the people in the group was going through my bag.  May I please join another group or complete an independent project?  Thank you, Hermione.”

Good luck.  I would be so upset.

Post # 6
Hostess
3787 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I am sympathetic to what’s going on, and I know how difficult it can be to work on a group project. That said:

 

Do NOT complain to your professor. He/she doesn’t care. They expect you to do the project and work with other people, just like you will at your job after college. I’ve worked in a college setting, and DH currently does. Personal problems among students are not the problem of the professor. He/she is there to provide you with the information and materials to understand the course content. He/she is not there to mediate conflicts for you.

 

The real lesson you’re learning in a group setting is that you need to be direct, diplomatic, and face problems head on. Truthfully, I think your first mistake was walking off to talk to your friend on the phone. If I were working on a project and someone did that, I would be pissed and think they’re clearly not committed to working on it. If you felt like you were not being heard, you should have said directly, “Guys, this is significantly different than the project we discussed on X. Is there something I missed with regard to how it’s changed so far?” 

 

When the girl went through your bag, you should have directly said, “Excuse me? What are you doing?” Unfortunately, it sounds like you should not leave your bag out, even around your group members.

 

I understand that this is trying, but it’s only for a few more weeks and I think it’s important that you try to use this project as great practice for the workplace.

 

Post # 8
Member
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Mrs.LemonDrop:  My professors would have absolutely responded to this information by allowing me to do an alternate project.  It’s not like they’re just hard to work with…they were going through her stuff.  

@Cornmuffin09:  These assholes don’t know how to work in a group without pretending they’re in high school.  If you won’t go to your professor, confront them.  Say, “Look, Betty and Veronica, you are not working well in this group.  If we want to get this done, you have to listen to my ideas and tell me where the meetings are.  Don’t lie to me — it’s childish.  And Veronica, if I ever see you with your hands on my belongings again, I will call the police.  Now let’s talk about the next steps we’re going to take.”

Post # 9
Hostess
3787 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@peachacid:  Some of mine might have, but most wouldn’t. In the end, refusing to do a group project will hurt the OP. It’s not like she can complain to her boss every time she doesn’t like her team members. Social anxiety can be crippling, but one also has to find ways and strategies to cope. I guarantee she’ll have to work her way through similar situations in her career from time to time. This is low stakes way to prepare herself for that.

And 100% believe that your approach of taking it head on will be waaaaaay more effective than talking to the professor anyway. 

Post # 10
Member
3210 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I’m a college instructor, and let me say, while I would let a student change groups, not everyone professor would do so.

If this is a business class of some kind, your professor will probably not be sympathetic. Group projects are used frequently in business classes to help “model” the corporate world, which often involves working with assholes, lol. If it’s another type of class, your teacher may be much more generous.

Good luck! I would definitely not leave my possession around these people any more. I would also be sure to stop by the professor’s office hours and state in a very friendly, professional way that you feel that you have not been able to participate as much as you would like because of miscommunications with your group, but that you are working as hard as you possibly can to do your best on this project. That will hopefully work against any complaints the group might make about you (as in, you were late to the meeting, left to make a phone call, etc).

Post # 11
Member
1248 posts
Bumble bee

@Cornmuffin09:  I read your post again.  I would tell the professor how they seem to be excluding you from their plans (I am assuming they chose not to tell you ahead of time that the venue had changed).They also seem to be working without you.

I am not sure if you are referring to your final project or architecture (capstone). Nevertheless,  this sounds like a hostile environment and the professor may give you another option. It kind of depends. Your prof may expect you to tough it out. I am not an architect. 

Post # 13
Member
5192 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Cornmuffin09:  “I guess, more than anything, I would rather do the exact same project, just not have to work with those people.”

You’ll know the culture at your school better than I would and if this would be considered acceptable.  If you think it would be, go for it.  I think that the larger the school you go to the less professors will be accepting of this.  

A few points to keep in mind:

 – Most students would rather work on their own than in a group.  Group projects are a pain and take longer than indi projects.  The professor may see it as an unfair advantage to allow you to work on your own.

  -While schools SAY they assign group projects so that you’ll learn “teamwork” a big part of the reason for group projects is to cut down on the cost of marking.  I know this as a former teaching assistant.  The professor is probably going to be concerned on some level about creating more marking for him/herself or the TAs.

 – There is a good chance that your professor will see you as whiney if you bring this to him.  As @Mrs.LemonDrop:  said, it’s not your prof’s job to mediate personal problems between students.

 – Working on your assertivness in this situation might be the best learning outcome you can get from this project.  It is HARD to be direct with people, espeically since these two sound really unpleasent.  However, working on that skill in the context of this school project is a lower risk than it will be in your workplace.

Do what you think is best.  Only you really know the situation.  I will say that this group sounds especally terrible.  Sorry that you are dealing with it.

 

Post # 14
Member
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Mrs.LemonDrop:  It’s not that she’s refusing to do the project…it’s that the people she has to work with are GOING THROUGH HER SHIT.  That’s so unacceptable to me.

I also don’t know why any professor wouldn’t allow her to make some sort of change given the information provided.  My professors weren’t dicks — they were people.

Post # 16
Member
2992 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Group projects suck. I thought so as a student. Either my input was ignored or I ended up doing all the work. It got so bad that throughout the rest of my undergraduate studies, when assigned a group project, I would just go up to the professor and ask if I could do the project by myself.

As a professor, I would be really perturbed about one of the group members going through your bag. THAT I would want a student to report to me.I would also mentioned that your input was largely ignored and not indicative of your work.

You have my sympathies. Chin up, the semester is ending soon!

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