Group work is an important part of degrees, as well as work afterwards, but the assessed stuff can be very unfair. The easiest example to use is when lecturers say that "all students will receive the same mark" and so a poor student who does no work can get a first, and a great student who does loads of work can barely pass, and it all depends on the other members of their group.
There is clearly a difficulty in marking each person individually though, it's hard or impossible to say which student has done what work while still setting something which requires whole group involvement. The only real work around I can think of is that each student also does an individual report on a certain area of the work done (ie the work that they did or contributed to), but that will probably have complications, and will create a lot of marking and work for the students. It may also be unfair on those who have very strong presentation skills and so want to take up a big part of that, and don't do so much of the actual body of work, or aren't as good at writing reports.
It can be harsh, all you can really do is talk to your lecturer/tutor and see if there's anything they can do, there often is depending on the severity of the ****ness of other people in your group.
EDIT: Also, I suppose this happens to people in the workplace as well, with a lazy employee who wont help on a presentation to a potential client/company that will give them business. The client/business in that case wont accept your 'he was rubbish' excuse and will go elsewhere, and your 'results' so to speak will depend on each person as a group, not individually...you'd hope that people doing that kind of thing wouldn't be arsey students though.
Last edited by heyimbored; 04-04-2012 at 23:05.
Absolutely hate group work.
On every module assessment form I slate group work. They bull**** about how it helps further each other knowledge and how it is such an important skill to possess in the real world... HA! In the real world, 3 members of your team aren't going to sit back and be passengers or just not turn up to group meetings and do no work. It is clear to see this is a problem at all universities. They need to stop living in this pathetic dream world where they think everyone is going to contribute equally. I'm one more bad group away from writing a letter to the head of my course!
Group work is not and never will be a test of knowledge, it is simply a question of how lucky you are when the groups are decided, making the whole group work excercise completely pointless, me and a couple of my friends have been scoring high 2:1 marks in the individual work yet in almost every group work submission, grades have slipped into the 2:2 category, absolutely pointless. It is completely possible to be individually assessed on every piece of work and still have the social skills to work as part of a team in a work environment after graduation.
Last edited by Dorito; 06-04-2012 at 18:44.