The Student Room Group

Major problem with group work module on my course

Currently studying a Master's and been put onto a group work module. It's really crap, all the other teammates do nothing. We're supposed to work together and I literally cannot juggle this and my other modules. Have tried going to the staff but they tell me to just deal with it. I don't feel like this is value for money, what can I do from here?
Original post by rsingh112
Currently studying a Master's and been put onto a group work module. It's really crap, all the other teammates do nothing. We're supposed to work together and I literally cannot juggle this and my other modules. Have tried going to the staff but they tell me to just deal with it. I don't feel like this is value for money, what can I do from here?

Hi @rsingh112,
I'm so sorry that you are facing an issue like this, group tasks are great because it offers you a chance to work with people with similar interests to you on your course but if they do not show the same amount of effort, it can feel a bit disappointing.

I would suggest that you talk to your teammates on the group work module and find out why they are not working at the same level as you, as by choosing to complete a masters degree in the subject, they obviously do care about the course and career line and maybe they do not realise what they are doing wrong so by you subtly pointing it out, they will help more.

Maybe even take on the leadership role, asking them to take on specific tasks and responsibilities, and follow this up by informing your lecturer of this team dynamic and who is responsible for what. So that when it comes to hand-in date, your lecturer is able to see what parts you had responsibility for and what parts you did not.

If the lecturers are aware of the situation you are finding yourself in and you are putting in as much effort and hard work as you can, then you will not be penalised for your teammates lack of effort and care.

I hope this helps you! 😀

Kind Regards,

Ben.
University of Wolverhampton Rep
(edited 2 weeks ago)
Reply 2
I do not want to sound harsh but at master's level you are at least 22 years old. At this point, it is not up to staff to sort out workload issues with your peers - you need to address this yourself.
Original post by rsingh112
Currently studying a Master's and been put onto a group work module. It's really crap, all the other teammates do nothing. We're supposed to work together and I literally cannot juggle this and my other modules. Have tried going to the staff but they tell me to just deal with it. I don't feel like this is value for money, what can I do from here?

Hello,

I completely understand your frustration with the current group work situation. I faced a similar issue last term, and I know how challenging it is to deal with this, especially when managing multiple deadlines simultaneously.
Start documenting all the communication that you have with your teammates. Use your school mail or any official means of communication, as this will help you when you want to escalate the matter in the future. (Let's hope it won't reach that point)
Talk to your peers and ask them for specific reasons for not contributing. Try to schedule meetings and work together, as this might help sometimes. Ask if anyone wants to take leadership; if not, assign tasks to everyone based on their preference. Even after doing this, if no one takes the initiative, try to take the documented proof to your professor again and talk about your situation. They should be able to help. You can also try contacting the student support services or program coordinator.
Moreover, it would be best to ask about the peer assessment form. This will let you score your peers based on their work and submit it with your coursework, ensuring a fair evaluation of individual contribution.
It won't be easy to deal with this, but I hope you can get through this. Don't give up!

Cheers,
MSc International Business Student.
This is such a common problem and tutors rarely intervene.
Do the assessment criteria include a specific % for groupwork?
How is groupwork assessed? Is it the same mark for everyone? Is there a mechanism for upping or downing the mark based on individual contribution? If so, how is this captured?
Are you required to complete a peer review form?
Is the assessment meant to be divided into specific sections with each group member doing their bit, or is the whole assessment meant to be a joint effort?
Is this a "live" presentation in front of the class/tutor?
Original post by rsingh112
Currently studying a Master's and been put onto a group work module. It's really crap, all the other teammates do nothing. We're supposed to work together and I literally cannot juggle this and my other modules. Have tried going to the staff but they tell me to just deal with it. I don't feel like this is value for money, what can I do from here?

Hi,

I am really sorry to hear that you are struggling with this aspect of your module.

I would recommend trying to talk to the members of your team so that they know how you are feeling, maybe they don't realise that they aren't pulling their weight. I think it is important to stress to them that you are struggling and can't manage it all. After all, this will likely affect their grade as well so if you speak to them they may be more inclined to change their behaviour.

Are there any other staff members you could go to about this who may want to help you?I would maybe think about trying to find another member of staff who could help.

I hope this helps,

Ellen
Y4 Medical Student
Uni of Sunderland
Reply 6
Original post by WolvesRep3
Hi @rsingh112,
I'm so sorry that you are facing an issue like this, group tasks are great because it offers you a chance to work with people with similar interests to you on your course but if they do not show the same amount of effort, it can feel a bit disappointing.

I would suggest that you talk to your teammates on the group work module and find out why they are not working at the same level as you, as by choosing to complete a masters degree in the subject, they obviously do care about the course and career line and maybe they do not realise what they are doing wrong so by you subtly pointing it out, they will help more.

Maybe even take on the leadership role, asking them to take on specific tasks and responsibilities, and follow this up by informing your lecturer of this team dynamic and who is responsible for what. So that when it comes to hand-in date, your lecturer is able to see what parts you had responsibility for and what parts you did not.

If the lecturers are aware of the situation you are finding yourself in and you are putting in as much effort and hard work as you can, then you will not be penalised for your teammates lack of effort and care.

I hope this helps you! 😀

Kind Regards,

Ben.
University of Wolverhampton Rep

Thanks, but I already have tried this and they simply won't study or do any group work, so I'm at a loss.
Reply 7
Original post by gjd800
I do not want to sound harsh but at master's level you are at least 22 years old. At this point, it is not up to staff to sort out workload issues with your peers - you need to address this yourself.

How is that possible when the only authority they respect is the university?
Reply 8
Original post by cheadle
This is such a common problem and tutors rarely intervene.
Do the assessment criteria include a specific % for groupwork?
How is groupwork assessed? Is it the same mark for everyone? Is there a mechanism for upping or downing the mark based on individual contribution? If so, how is this captured?
Are you required to complete a peer review form?
Is the assessment meant to be divided into specific sections with each group member doing their bit, or is the whole assessment meant to be a joint effort?
Is this a "live" presentation in front of the class/tutor?

The vast bulk of the mark is for individual effort & portfolio. Only a tiny % is for the group element. This means technically I could be the only student who passes.
My problem with that is what a poor quality module this is. I'm having to do the work of 4-5 people and it's such a pressure to keep up with. That's definitely not what I signed up for.
The other students have no intention of studying, doing group work or really doing anything in particular. When I first enrolled, lecturers talked about things such as studying with "leaders in the industry" and that kind of thing. These students couldn't be less interested.
I can't expect the university to motivate them but this is really not what I expect as an education.
Reply 9
Original post by University of Sunderland Student Ambassador
Hi,

I am really sorry to hear that you are struggling with this aspect of your module.

I would recommend trying to talk to the members of your team so that they know how you are feeling, maybe they don't realise that they aren't pulling their weight. I think it is important to stress to them that you are struggling and can't manage it all. After all, this will likely affect their grade as well so if you speak to them they may be more inclined to change their behaviour.

Are there any other staff members you could go to about this who may want to help you?I would maybe think about trying to find another member of staff who could help.

I hope this helps,

Ellen
Y4 Medical Student
Uni of Sunderland

Nope the staff have washed their hands of it. To be fair that is reasonable for university but to be left on a group project with students who are making no effort at all is pretty miserable plus impossible to keep up with.
When we had slackers in group work we notified the academic running the module and then clearly defined what each member was supposed to be delivering. That way it was painfully obvious who had chipped in.
Original post by rsingh112
Currently studying a Master's and been put onto a group work module. It's really crap, all the other teammates do nothing. We're supposed to work together and I literally cannot juggle this and my other modules. Have tried going to the staff but they tell me to just deal with it. I don't feel like this is value for money, what can I do from here?

@rsingh112

It's a small percentage of your marks so focus on your other individual modules prioritise them. It may be that they like to do things last minute, so perhaps try and split the different tasks that need to be done and then focus on doing your part and leave off the rest. There's no point stressing yourself out and having meetings which people are not attending or contributing to. Use your time wisely!

Make it clear that you don't mind when they get it done but that it needs to be done by this time ( give an earlier deadline in case they miss it). Don't give the impression that you will do it for them, otherwise they will not do anything! Normally when people have high expectations of others, people feel obliged to meet them. So keep things positive and speak as if it would be illogical for them not to do the work.

Group work tends to always be difficult unless you know beforehand how people work and if your working styles are compatible. The only good thing about group work is that it is always a learning experience, even if it doesn't feel positive at the time. In the world of work, it's likely that you will have to organise or plan something with other colleagues, so hopefully some of the skills learnt from group work will come in handy. With that in mind, try not to see the solution as doing it all, as it doesn't do you or them any good in the long run. Try and see this time as an opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills. (If you get a question in a interview about teamwork or a challenging time, you will have a great example of how you overcame!)

All the best,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by rsingh112
The vast bulk of the mark is for individual effort & portfolio. Only a tiny % is for the group element. This means technically I could be the only student who passes.
My problem with that is what a poor quality module this is. I'm having to do the work of 4-5 people and it's such a pressure to keep up with. That's definitely not what I signed up for.
The other students have no intention of studying, doing group work or really doing anything in particular. When I first enrolled, lecturers talked about things such as studying with "leaders in the industry" and that kind of thing. These students couldn't be less interested.
I can't expect the university to motivate them but this is really not what I expect as an education.

There are 2 issues here.
First, your dissatisfaction with the module which, once it is done and dusted, you should consider feeding back through your class rep to the staff student commitee, where your comments will be at least noted and possibly actioned (depending on whether the module needs some attention).
Second, the assessment. For your own protection, I would advise that you continue to try and engage the other group members (keep screenshots etc). If you are submitting a shared group portfolio, and you decide to draft it up, you should still make it available to the rest of the group through google docs or similar to make a contribution if they wish. I would not bust a gut on this, just do a respectable minimum.
Reply 13
Original post by cheadle
There are 2 issues here.
First, your dissatisfaction with the module which, once it is done and dusted, you should consider feeding back through your class rep to the staff student commitee, where your comments will be at least noted and possibly actioned (depending on whether the module needs some attention).
Second, the assessment. For your own protection, I would advise that you continue to try and engage the other group members (keep screenshots etc). If you are submitting a shared group portfolio, and you decide to draft it up, you should still make it available to the rest of the group through google docs or similar to make a contribution if they wish. I would not bust a gut on this, just do a respectable minimum.

That is one way to look at it. Another is to see this module as a waste of my time. They've all had access to the portfolio for the last 2 months on google drive along with multiple files I've supplied to help them. In regards to documenting, I'm actually forced to do it since it's a requirement and no one else is lifting a finger.

This is my education and I take it seriously even if others don't. I am in my 40s and have paid a lot of money for this. So what is the point in this desired "team work" if other people don't do anything and there are no checks and balances to ensure some reasonable form of conduct? Any other professional environment would have this. They are all headed for fails but that is beside the point - I enrolled to be alongside "industry leaders" and the other schpiel they said at open days, definitely not this.

My aim is to take this up with the union since the course leaders are not one bit interested. It's not like I can get out of the module but I am just so disappointed with peoples behaviour. What does the university expect me to do wave a magic wand? Ridiculous

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