Procrastination and group projects

I have never really liked group projects.  The thought that part of your grade depends upon the work of someone else is frustrating and scary. It can be fine if everyone pulls together and does a good job on their part. However, it can be horrible if people slack off or don’t work at all.

I had a group project for one of my online classes. It was assigned 3 weeks ago. There were 4 people in the group. About 2.5 weeks ago, one of the group members got busy and posted a rough draft of the initial part for the project. I then took it and did a write up about her chart. We asked the others to do writeups about the other things we were to discuss. Nothing got done.

Last week the first woman and I completed our parts of the project. We reminded the other 2 members about getting theirs in soon enough so we can review them and include it in the final project. Nothing got done.

While we were waiting, the other woman and I decided we’d better go ahead and do the rest of the project just in case. It is due this week. We each chose one of the other parts and got busy. By Wednesday, we had a complete rough draft of the full project. Thursday (just 3 days before it is due), one of the other members sent her part in. Unfortunately, she analyzed the wrong thing. We notified her as well as the instructor of this and asked her to redo it right away. Still no word from the 4th member of the group.

Yesterday afternoon we hadn’t heard anything from the woman about redoing her part, not even acknowledging she got the messages about it being the wrong thing. Nor had we heard from the 4th member at all. Ugh! After several e-mails back and forth, the other woman and I decided to just go ahead and do a final version without either of them, since we already had a version their parts done anyway.

So I got it all finalized. She did a final proof read and this morning, it was submitted for grading. We left off the other 2 members names and notified the instructor our reasons.  2 hours later, I got an e-mail from the last team member with her part. We didn’t even know for sure she had been working on it. Talk about procrastination and lack of communication!

I wrote her back and told her it was too late, that we already completed and turned in the project without her. So this 4 person group project turned into a 2 person team project because of lack of communication and procrastination. Very frustrating, especially since this is a college course. There is no excuse for that type of procrastination in a group project at this level.

We needed their parts a week ago to properly work it into the overall project. Even early this week would probably have been OK. But the afternoon before the whole thing is due? NO! I’m sorry, that’s way too late. I’m glad we went ahead without them, but it made for a very stressful week. I really hope we get a good grade, because basically we had to do double the work, for the same number of points.


6 Responses

  1. I remember those “group” projects and that one or two who never got the work done but expected the grade! They don’t ge tit that part of the learning experience is the cooperation.

  2. Yes. And this is supposed to be college. I guess this is part of the reason they say puberty lasts until the early 20’s now. Lots of I’m sorry and excuses doesn’t change the fact the work was too late be useful or that the 2 of us had to literally do double the work to make up for it. *sigh* All-in-all, I’ll be glad when this class is over.

  3. We had to do a group presentation in a speech class. One lady decided to be our group leader, and was awful, she failed to follow through on anything, and the one member I thought would be dead weight, a young man from an african country who barely spoke english ended up being the saviour of our group. On the day of our presentation, I showed up with my stuff, the other person showed up with there stuff, our self appointed leader was supposed to bring print outs of our graphics and didn’t have them and then claimed she wasn’t responsible. The african man realized that we were going to fail, so saved the day, logged into a computer and was able to throw together some graphics and get things done. Then we went to class to do our presentation, we were all rather honked off at the self appointed leader, we then did our presentation, we all had parts to say (it was a requirement), but self appointed leader did the whole thing, we then had to look like idiots and say our parts even though she had already said them. I did speak with the professor after class, she said this happens with every group and it is part of the learning process, we did get a decent grade.
    And you know what, the prof was correct, I have never worked on a team project in the working world where everyone contributed, or contributed equally, it just seems to be human nature. And, oftentimes, if you speak to each person on the team, they will express exactly the same frustrations about all the other team members, it is all a matter of perspective.

  4. The Big Guy had one class where they were stuck in the same group all semester. One member barely did anything and the other did just a little at first. The professor gave the Big Guy a bad grade for doing all the work and not allowing the others to work. He would wait on them and then turn in his work when they didn’t respond.

  5. Dee,
    That’s too bad. Silly how when you get penalized for trying to make up for others laziness. Did he explain the situation to the instructor?

    I finally got our grade. We got full credit. I don’t know if the two who didn’t contribute got credit or not.

  6. No the professor was pretty much clueless

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