Group Projects do not Benefit Students


The final months of school are the most hectic time of the year. On top of all the end of the year events, it is the final time for students to clinch the semester A in their classes. Unfortunately, the inflexible mandate to have 180 days of school by the Maryland Government creates a dragged out school year.

Since all the material should have been taught in class, the final weeks of school are spent doing group projects, especially in AP classes where the final exam is taken well before the end of the school year, some projects counting as the powerful final exam grade. All of a sudden, delicate GPAs are in the hands of four other classmates.

Group projects inevitably create a climate of stress. Dividing the work equally becomes conflicting when some tasks are more difficult than others. Trusting others to do their parts of the project creates immense anxiety to those in need of a higher grade. Students who have inflexible grades cannot do much to help or hurt their semester grades, resulting in a lack of motivation to do well in projects..

However, holding other group members responsible for the incompetence of their classmates is unjust. The only way students can avoid suffering the consequences is by doing the other classmate’s workload in addition to their assigned part. While unfair, this tradition is extremely common and expected. Slothful students ride the coattails and leech off the hardworker’s desire for an A.

Teachers reason that the ability to work with others is an essential skill for college and beyond. Although skills like collaboration, compromise and communication are no doubt vital, the future workplace is a completely different environment than high school, comprised of people who share similar ambitions Unfortunately, some high school students simply do not care. Not doing a project well in high school results in a bad grade, while in the workplace the risk of being fired is a drastic possibility.

With final exams, teachers can still teach class and help students review material, so they can start studying weeks before the exam. Students have time during class to ask questions and complete review material and then have plenty of time at home to study individually and productively. School projects take away time from studying for the final exam in many classes, thus hurting rather than helping student grades.

These projects don’t enrich or benefit students in any way. They don’t teach students any new skills or connect newly learned material in any life application. The projects have loose prompts, lenient rubrics, and no good reason for being assigned.