Group Projects- Helpful or Hassle?

Mercy+students+have+conflicting+emotions+about+group+projects%2C+the+successful+cooperation+and+operation+of+such+projects%2C+and++how+to+%22handle%22+the+stress+that+typically+accompanies+them.+

Mercy students have conflicting emotions about group projects, the successful cooperation and operation of such projects, and how to “handle” the stress that typically accompanies them.

Mercy students have conflicting emotions about group projects, the successful cooperation and operation of such projects, and  how to "handle" the stress that typically accompanies them.
Mercy students have conflicting emotions about group projects, the successful cooperation and operation of such projects, and how to “handle” the stress that typically accompanies them.

Walking into the classroom, you feel nervous. The butterflies are fluttering about in your stomach and you have no idea what to expect. You put your faith in your classmates and now it’s time to test it. The obnoxious talking at the beginning of class settles down to a quiet murmur. You take a deep breath and begin your presentation, praying that your partners did their job just as efficiently as you did yours.

Everyone has individual opinions about group projects, and whether you dream about them or  dread them, you’re going to be faced with group presentations one day or another. Throughout the process of creating an effective demonstration, groups must create a plan, gather research, and efficiently present the information in a clear structure. The most nerve-wrecking part of the entire process is making sure everyone does their assigned portions of the project.

“If I get a partner that is willing to do equal work then I love group projects, but if I get a partner who won’t help me then it can be very stressful,” said freshman Maria Bowen.

There are several benefits to collaborating with other people to build the perfect project, such as the ability to get ideas from your peers, spreading out the work load, learning details about a specific topic in detail, and cooperating with others.

“I love getting to meet new people and interact with my classmates during group projects,” said junior Olivia Brown.

Although there are positive elements to group projects, there are also some downfalls to being paired in a group with other classmates. Some examples of these negative factors are: the completion of each student’s appointed items, conflicting schedules, time limits, incompatible personalities and even those moments of stress when trying to finalize the assignment.

“It’s really hard to compromise on ideas and get together with a group, especially at Mercy because we all live in different locations,” said junior Madeline Loniewski. “I would like to choose a group of people who live in my area or someone who has the same sports schedule as me. ”

Another common conflict about group projects is the way in which teachers decide to grade each student. Some may decide to give the group a collective grade for he outcome of the entire presentation as a whole.

“I would like to be graded as a group, because I think everyone’s effort should be graded equally,” said Brown.

Other teachers choose to give each member an individual grade based upon her section and the effort that she put into the project.

“I wish you could be graded as an individual on what you did,” said Loniewski. “If something went wrong with what other people in your group did, points shouldn’t be deducted from your grade.”