Friday, March 9, 2012

Trust No One

So, yesterday I blogged about how I was avoiding a research paper. Now, to be entirely honest, I was mostly joking. I did have my portion of this paper under control, but I was having a lazy kind of day, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you all.

In all truthfulness, this paper is a group paper. Which, as I am sure you know, sucks.

Isn't this the truth:

That graphic comes from EndlessOrigami.com, I didn't make it. But I wish I had.

Huffington Post referred to this as a "Universal Truth." I assume that means everybody feels this way about group projects.

But how is that possible?

I mean, if everybody thinks that they cannot trust their partners, then who is actually doing all the work? Right? If I think I cannot trust Bob or MarySue, and MarySue thinks she cannot trust me or Bob, and Bob thinks he cannot trust me or MarySue, that means we all think we are doing all the work. So... who is actually doing it? Who is really worthy of trust?

In my case, on this group paper I've been working on, it's fifteen pages, twenty sources, twenty minute PowerPoint presentation. Divided among three people. Graduate students. Students who successfully finished college and liked it so much that they decided to do it all over again.

So WHY on earth is this Universal Truth still holding true?

I'm the person in charge of compiling our work and making it one smooth, seamless paper. So, if we divide the work up evenly- fifteen pages, twenty sources- the other two people in my group should send me approximately five pages of content, citing six to seven sources, yes? (For the record, despite my tongue-in-cheek statements yesterday, I managed to complete seven and a half pages, with eleven sources cited.)

Why does one person send me four pages, citing nothing but the course textbook (not a valid source, by the way, the professor excluded the text as a source), and the other person sends me two pages with no sources. Those two pages, incidentally, are filled with paragraphs that are completely disjointed from each other, no transitions, no segues, no thesis statements, no conclusions... just five random paragraphs all talking about a similar subject. Oh, and neither of them is in correct APA format, so I have to reformat everything.

So, at this point, I've written more than both of them combined, and I have all of our viable sources for the paper.

Our professor is asking us to rate the performance of the other students in our groups, and I am totally going to throw them under the bus. Just so y'all know.

5 comments:

  1. I have one subject this semester in which we do group work, but get assessed individually. That I'm okay with. I have a second subject where 45% of our overall grade is based on group work. And we're assessed as a group. I am NOT okay with that. Because there's no way to rate the performance of the other students. I'm dreading it already and it's only the second week of term...

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  2. You should "Final Destination" them and throw them IN FRONT of the bus.

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  3. I've never understood that--I've seen these surveys where supposedly everyone says that they do the majority of work in group projects, and it's obvious that either people are lying, delusional, or they didn't survey any of the people I was ever assigned to group projects with.

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  4. The boy we're, my husband and I, legal guardians of had this exact discussion just a couple days ago. He and some of his classmates were collaborating to do a Power Point presentation. It was due last Friday. Do you know when he finally got his part done? Last Thursday night. Every one else in his group had theirs done the day it was assigned. All he had to do was put some pictures on a page with some facts about the moons of some planet. Not sure which one, I was too upset at him to pay attention. How dare he put his classmates in danger of getting a bad grade when they'd already done the work? It's horrific that this graph is true. I'm so sorry that you had to be put in a group with people like The Boy!!

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  5. Oh that brings back nightmares of school. And current ones about work I hate group projects. Good for you for throwing them under the bus. I'm too much of a pushover... By the way I tagged you. http://blog.carriebastyr.com/2012/03/awarded-tagged-and-challenged.html

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