I have always hated group projects.
I especially hated the group projects in which everyone would ultimately receive the same grade, regardless of work distribution.
Group projects allowed people’s true nature to rise to the surface. A successful group project is predicated on each person doing their fair share. It necessitates cooperation, collaboration, and communication. It means that everyone has to be on the same page and have the same goal — an A of course — in mind.
For whatever reason, this was always hard to achieve.
In my experience, a group project has inevitably meant that some people end up doing the heavy lift and carrying the team on their shoulders. Some slouch off. Some don’t even attend the group working sessions. Some have the audacity to show up on the day of the class presentation wanting to know what role they have to play. Some hold out on resources that would have benefitted the team and then prop themselves up as the true leader and armour-bearer of the team. Self-interest prevails. Frustration percolates.
Since leaving school some eight years ago, I thought my days of group projects were over, but I find myself embroiled in a group project where not my grade is at stake but my very life.
Nowhere else do we currently see the same failed group project paradigm writ large as we do in this pandemic.
But am I surprised? We’ve never really been good at global group projects.
The abolishment of slavery. Climate change.
And then there were the saccharine slogans:
“We’re in this together.”