When teachers sit down to plan out their course syllabus, they always undoubtedly include a group grading component, either oblivious to the fact that group work is never done in equal contributions and they genuinely believe it teaches students to work cooperatively and effectively in a group or they do it in spite of that just to make us sweat while they enjoy the chaos. That was a long rant-like sentence, I know. But that’s just how frustrating it is to work in a group.
We all know how hassling it can be when your group is a panorama of different types of members and we’ve all encountered at least a few of these:
The Idea (Wo)man
This is the guy or girl who comes up with an idea and designates work to every other member in order to get it done. Once the idea is put out there, they won’t lift a finger to execute it.
The earnest group member who works really hard to make everything a success. Their responsibility and honesty are their own worst qualities since they’d have to carry the group on their shoulders because of these traits.
The group member who digs his or her claws into into a worker bee type group member in order to maintain the illusion that he or she is contributing something when in actuality they are not.
The group member who insists they don’t know anything in order to escape work being thrust on them. They really know how to play the ignorance card but don’t be fooled. They definitely know more than they let on.
That lazy group member who everyone else knows won’t contribute so no one assigns them work. Their standards of laziness foster super low expectations which they bask in and take advantage of.
That group leader who refuses to listen to their group members opinion and almost single handedly calls the shots.
The select few members who ‘the Hitler’ confides in and whose viewpoints are considered. In return for this special privilege they enforce whatever the Hitler says upon the rest of the group members.
That group member who isn’t the leader but wants to be and plans the way to claim the position for themselves. If they have good intentions, they do better than the original leader, but if their lustful for power then they don’t.
Those who nod along when ideas are bounced around instead of contributing their own even though they may not be a 100% sold. Later when plans are built around this idea they agreed to, they voice concerns and begin questioning it. They tend to have clashes with the idea m (wo)men.
The Invisible (Wo)man
That group member who always disappears when everyone gets down to work and magically comes back once everything’s done.
That group member who absolutely needs everything just right and usually does all the work alone.They resents other group members for it but won’t relinquish control either.
The Ticking Timer
That guy or girl who insists on counting down the days until the official deadline, attempting to instill fear in the rest of the group to get everything finished.
The Drama Queens/Kings
That group member who has no idea what damage control is when shit hits the fan. You’ll be surprised how they handle crises and it’s better to avoid their hysterics if you want anything to get done.
And just think, your grade depends on these people.
I’m not saying there aren’t pros to group work, I’ve just done enough of it to know the cons definitely outweigh them. It’s not fun and cooperative and anyone who spouts out praise for such assignments lives in a world of rainbows and unicorns.
But then again, a world of rainbows and unicorns wouldn’t have any group assignments :)