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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Cross Currents: Are group projects ever beneficial?

Alloy Zarate
Illustration by Alloy Zarate, 2020

Completing school work both in and out of the classroom is a task that every college student has gone through. Working as a team on a school project was also a very typical assignment given, giving students the chance to meet new people they have not talked to before. But sometimes, working with your classmates can offer a new obstacle to get through when communication is minimal. We asked our staff, “are group projects ever beneficial?”

Sylvia Stewart, Staff Writer

Collaboration with a group has unlimited benefits for those growing up in our current generation. Discussions and communication amongst peers prepares students or individuals to socialize with their peers. 

Working as a group helps improve productivity and motivation in the workplace. Having the advantage of collaborating with other minds is beneficial to conducting the final solution; individuals are able to learn from multiple different perspectives.

One of the most important aspects of life is communication. When working with the right group of people, you can easily expand your communication skills. Commonly, there are multiple conflicts and disagreements while working in a group. Disagreements can often end in a stronger solution, and force the group to elaborate on one opinion. 

When given an environment of cooperation, it gives you a chance to think outside of the box, and find new solutions to solving problems. Working in a group gives others the chance to exercise their brain and understand other opinions. Timely and effective problem solving is a major collaboration benefit.

It’s important to keep in mind that working with group members expands your ability to break down steps and seek important areas of the solution; creating a steady workflow. This workflow is necessary in order to gain an efficient and productive work environment in the future.

Communication abilities are essential for future social interactions, expressing opinions, and exchanging ideas. These skills overall prepare you for the futuristic world; creating a beneficial atmosphere in the workplace. 

Tatiana Moore, Staff Writer

It’s a classic story. You’re listening to a professor outline the syllabus for the coming semester, breaking down the grading, when it’s explained to you that “50% of your grade will be based on a group project…” 

Maybe you’re hopeful that this could allow you to network, exchange ideas, hang out with peers outside of the classroom, and, who knows–maybe even make a few friends. 

The last time I felt that optimistic about group projects had to be back in the third grade. I looked forward to experiencing the joy of real teamwork and utilizing my newly discovered social skills, all while making a bridge out of popsicle sticks and hoping for a chance at five extra minutes of recess. Those were the days.

Now, group projects are more like experiencing the dread and anxiety of the realization that I’ll most likely be doing all the work for everything for the rest of my life while other people try to take credit for my work, and that’s just how it is. 

But I digress.

While some feel that group projects foster a vital, collaborative learning environment, I argue that group projects are nothing more than a waste of everyone’s time and effort.

More often than not, students end up buddied up with an inept, lazy, uncooperative group, while with individual work, students can manage their own schedules and work at their own pace. Individual work also eliminates the need to look out for group members who rely on others to carry all of the workload. 

Group projects don’t consist of collaboration or teamwork for me. Instead, they’re a source of stress and an ineffective means of learning.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m being anti-social or cynical, but I can’t help it. Taking ownership of your work is something to be proud of. Never be ashamed to take charge of achieving success on your own terms. 

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