Mill Valley News

Teachers should not assign group projects

Group projects are not a good use of students' time

Sophie Lecuru, JagWire features editor

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There are two types of people when it comes to group projects: The person that dedicates their time to making the project as perfect as possible, and the person who watches as all the work gets done for them. Group projects are rarely a collaborative effort and that is why individual projects should be the standard.

Almost always, the work completed in group projects is done by only one person despite teachers’ efforts to prevent this from happening. This is counterproductive for both teachers and students. When work gets done for students who don’t want to participate, they are not learning the material, resulting in more work for both them and the teacher as the lesson must be taught and reinforced again.

Although some may say that group projects promote communication skills, they can also create some tense social situations. For some, the mentioning of a group project causes internal panic to set in at the thought of choosing partners. This feeling of uncertainty is completely unnecessary and could be prevented by assigning individual projects instead.

An increase in group projects can be detrimental to a student’s education because less work gets done. It’s harder to stay focused and students become off task when there are more distractions caused by the additional people involved in the project. Lots of valuable time is wasted, and on top of that, the quality of students’ work decreases as well.

When the project is finally finished, the grade comes in. Those who do all the work and put forth their best effort are almost always dissatisfied with their grade while those who put no time into contributing to the project are almost always pleasantly surprised with their grade. Neither type of person deserves the grade they get. The grading process for group projects is flawed and does not reflect the grade each type of student truly deserves.

Although individual projects are the best option, group projects can assist in teaching adolescents lifelong communication skills. Learning to listen, lead, and work with peers are important life skills to develop. Cell phones, social media, television and the internet are all important communication platforms to become familiar with and group projects are a great way to get students involved in discussions using these mediums to reach the public. However

However, the flaws of group projects, such as students’ skewed work ethics, undeserved grades and tense social situations, drastically outweigh the benefits. While it is not always possible for teachers to only assign individual projects, it would be more beneficial to students’ education if they avoided assigning group projects when at all possible.

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