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Group work

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    Why are degrees allowed to contain this? Admittedly I do a proper degree that doesn't contain any of it so have no personal experience, but it essentially seems to be a mechanism for enabling morons who scraped into University to pass their degrees without actually having to do any work, as evidenced by the many examples I've heard of of essentially one or two people in a several person group doing all the work. Though I realise it may help illustrate teamwork skills, I'm not entirely sure a degree awarded to an individul person is the best means of illustrating that.
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    I hate group work. I have been in a group work recently where I have done 100% of the work, not out of choice but I felt I had too. Fair play they did their bit but no effort was put into it whatsoever, seriously, just copied and pasted out of wiki! ... and I was going to be marked on that ****! So I just told them 'I'd work over it at the weekend and hand it in' and did it all myself and we managed to get 70%.

    It's pretty gutting that all that work and they share that grade.

    Group Work Shucks!
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    (Original post by StudyHard_LiveBetter)
    I hate group work. I have been in a group work recently where I have done 100% of the work, not out of choice but I felt I had too. Fair play they did their bit but no effort was put into it whatsoever, seriously, just copied and pasted out of wiki! ... and I was going to be marked on that sh*t! So I just told them 'I'd work over it at the weekend and hand it in' and did it all myself and we managed to get 70%.

    It's pretty gutting that all that work and they share that grade.

    Group Work Shucks!
    Tell your lecturer, normally (if they aren't idiots) they will allow you to seperate in to your own group and make them a seperate group as long as you can prove they aren't pulling their weight.

    Thankfully I had no group work at all in my degree otherwise it would have driven me to insanity fighting against the laziness of students!
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    (Original post by montgomery)
    Why are degrees allowed to contain this? Admittedly I do a proper degree that doesn't contain any of it so have no personal experience, but it essentially seems to be a mechanism for enabling morons who scraped into University to pass their degrees without actually having to do any work, as evidenced by the many examples I've heard of of essentially one or two people in a several person group doing all the work. Though I realise it may help illustrate teamwork skills, I'm not entirely sure a degree awarded to an individul person is the best means of illustrating that.
    Too bad, it's a good transferable skill to gain that will greatly benefit you when it comes to applying for work.

    I don't like doing group work though tbh, because often it always ends up being me telling people what to do and creating the whole presentation myself, it's frustrating trying to get people to agree on which bits to do and get them to present it well.

    We're usually marked as a whole group rather than individually, so if one person puts no effort in the whole group suffers, and I don't think this should be the case when the percentages count towards your final degree classification.
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    I hate the fact that group work is supposed to help us work with others once we get a 'real' job. Total BS. If someone didn't pull their weight at work, they'd get the sack and rightly so. Luckily, no group work for me this year otherwise I'd've thrown myself out the window by now
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    (Original post by aeterno)
    I hate the fact that group work is supposed to help us work with others once we get a 'real' job. Total BS. If someone didn't pull their weight at work, they'd get the sack and rightly so. Luckily, no group work for me this year otherwise I'd've thrown myself out the window by now
    Yep, I couldn't agree more, even if the university uses peer assessment it is often only for a tiny % of the marks, so there is no real way to penalise those who can't be bothered.

    The idea of group projects at university is great in theory, but in reality it often doesn't work and results in one or two people having a nervous break down while everyone else clears off down the pub......

    I would much rather be judged on my own efforts as it seems fairer than either being dragged down or benefiting from others work. I also can't help but feel it is just an easy way for lecturers to reduce their workload; marking 9 or 10 group projects has to be easier than reading say 60 essays.
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    I am having such problems with this right now :cry2: It's why I'm up at 2am. :cry:
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    The reason I hate it at the moment is because we are working as a group on a POSTER and there are 6 of us in the group. How is it fair? I have worked on most of the formatting too. The group I am working with has chosen a really bad topic that has farrrrrr too much nitty gritty detail for a poster and they are refusing to listen to my advise that our poster is too wordy! Its a poster! We were allowed to choose any title from a massive list and they have chosen the most boring one! Which also provides little opportunity for figures/images which is very important in a poster. I want to suggest that we change topics but the deadline is in just 4 days! ARGGGGH want to rip my hair out. This whole poster idsea is rubbish anyway because it is due so close to the end of term where so many of us have other important deadlines and exam revision to work at and this is literally getting in the way its such a pain omg this is a massive rant!!!!! RANT OVER!
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    I've only had to do one presentation at university and everybody did what they were told so that was fine but at AS level i had to do a group presentation once and since we were a group of three but only two of us actually did anything when it came to the presentation i actually (in front of the class and teacher) told the guy to sit back down because he'd done **** all and only put me and my friends name on the presentation.

    I do love individual presentations though, seem to be a natural at them.
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    I hate group work :/

    I'd just rather do it all myself, I hate being the nerd of the group and I don't really like joining in group conversations. I probably sound miserable but if I'm stuck doing group work I stay silently in the background during discussions then end up putting everything together. I live at home too which makes it really awkward to all meet up at the same time and place, it all just makes me hate group work more.
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    (Original post by cheese0110)
    I hate group work :/

    I'd just rather do it all myself, I hate being the nerd of the group and I don't really like joining in group conversations. I probably sound miserable but if I'm stuck doing group work I stay silently in the background during discussions then end up putting everything together. I live at home too which makes it really awkward to all meet up at the same time and place, it all just makes me hate group work more.
    But when the person specification for a graduate position says "Applicant must be able to work well in a team" does that mean you won't apply for the job?
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    Group work only makes sense if the project is so big that one person cannot do all the work (think Engineering, Software, Research collaborations, Theatre, Film productions etc.). For such big projects it makes sense to assign specific roles and responsibilities to each member of the group, based on skill-set. If someone is not doing their job it will be very obvious and that person can be held to account for it.

    I think most university "group work" is actually small-scale work done in a group (i.e. an individual could comfortably do all of it), which is why people have such bad experiences with it.

    I have also read somewhere that generally, individuals tend to produce more original / better quality work than groups. Original ideas tend to get shouted down in groups depending on the popularity and social hierarchy of the group members.
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    (Original post by llys)
    Group work only makes sense if the project is so big that one person cannot do all the work (think Engineering, Software, Research collaborations, Theatre, Film productions etc.).
    Most real businesses don't think so. I can do all of the jobs that I give to the members of my team, but my clients don't wish to pay my hourly rates for what a junior member of my staff can do.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Most real businesses don't think so. I can do all of the jobs that I give to the members of my team, but my clients don't wish to pay my hourly rates for what a junior member of my staff can do.
    If your junior is doing all the work, that's not group work though, is it?
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    (Original post by llys)
    If your junior is doing all the work, that's not group work though, is it?
    The juniors are doing parts of the task that I give them but each of their parts must integrate not only with what I am doing but with what each of them is doing.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The juniors are doing parts of the task that I give them but each of their parts must integrate not only with what I am doing but with what each of them is doing.
    That sounds like good group work then, assignments based on skill-set. I bet you don't give two of them one task and tell them to "do it together", if one person could do it just as well in the same amount of time. Your clients probably wouldn't like to pay for that either.
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    (Original post by llys)
    That sounds like good group work then, assignments based on skill-set. I bet you don't give two of them one task and tell them to "do it together", if one person could do it just as well in the same amount of time. Your clients probably wouldn't like to pay for that either.
    No they wouldn't but generally that isn't what universities mean either.

    The problem is usually that no-one exhibits real leadership to achieve the outcome. The dominant figure either tries to pinch the best bits of the project for himself or is incapable of delegating or is incapable of managing what has been delegated. Other people see no reason to buy in and the project fails.

    Universities are very poor at teaching the skills necessary for this. If you ever watch a documentary about army recruits you will see that they are equally hapless at getting a log across a stream or whatever at the outset but by the end of the course they can work as a team and the key thing is they can do so without one of the group holding any rank distinction over the others.
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    Totally unfair. In my degree, group work normally counts for 25% or so of the module mark and guess what? It needs more work than the actual exam because not everyone is doing their bit. What really infuriates me is that there is still group work in final year modules!!! Even your last year marks are still being determined by these slackers.

    Worst one was when one of my group partners decided to inform us 2 hours before the presentation that he can't make it. Imagine the anguish and stress. It should be banned.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    No they wouldn't but generally that isn't what universities mean either.

    The problem is usually that no-one exhibits real leadership to achieve the outcome. The dominant figure either tries to pinch the best bits of the project for himself or is incapable of delegating or is incapable of managing what has been delegated. Other people see no reason to buy in and the project fails.

    Universities are very poor at teaching the skills necessary for this.
    I agree that probably universities want to make students work effectively in groups on a small scale, and I agree that this could be done. I think both universities and students generally fail at it because it is (most of the time) not taught or made explicit - neither at school nor at university. (Probably because most teachers or lecturers do not understand group work either.) Doing it badly is just a waste of time for everyone, especially if you can do better on your own.

    By contrast, I'm pretty sure that how to work effectively in a group is explicitly taught to software developers and engineers (example). Apparently software developers copied group work techniques from engineers when they realised how important it is to do this well.

    If you ever watch a documentary about army recruits you will see that they are equally hapless at getting a log across a stream or whatever at the outset but by the end of the course they can work as a team and the key thing is they can do so without one of the group holding any rank distinction over the others.
    I have never seen one of those, but I'd be quite interested to see how they get it done. I think probably they have the advantage that their recruits must work together, because a single person could not get the task done at all. Add some competition between groups and I could imagine recruits could work out how to be effective together pretty quickly.
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    (Original post by EconObsessed)

    Worst one was when one of my group partners decided to inform us 2 hours before the presentation that he can't make it.
    That was your failure then. You had failed to build an espirit de corps that would have meant he would have crossed mountains not to let down your team.

    Had you checked the previous day, three days before, a week before and two weeks before that he was definitely going to appear. When was the dress rehearsal for the presentation? Did he attend?

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