University students are gearing up for final exams and the stress is palpable. Even if you’ve done pretty good throughout spring semester, there’s still a good chance that your final exam could drop your overall grade. If you’re behind in a class, this is your last shot at bumping your grade up and you’re probably already cramming for it. This final grade is important, and students dedicate a lot of their time studying for it. There are so many different types of finals. There are actual tests, final papers and research projects, but under no circumstances should a final be a group project.
Group projects are hard enough under normal circumstances. We’ve all been in school long enough to know that even in great classes with really smart people, you’re going to end up getting screwed on a group project. Trying to have four or five different people give their input on what your topic should be, trying to coordinate schedules to work on said topic and usually getting stuck with way more work than initially thought is exhausting. To have your final grade in a course hang in the balance of a group project is just cruel.
We’re in college, we pay to be here. We pay to take classes that will either improve or hurt our grade point average and college kids know that every single class makes a difference. We don’t pay to get joint grades with a bunch of random kids in our class because our teachers want us to develop “teamwork.” If I’m paying for a class, I want to be graded by my own work, not the work that comes out of the hostility that is group projects. The only reason why teachers give out group projects as final exams is because they want to grade 10 group final projects instead of 40 individual projects.
Unless you join a class that is specifically aimed at group projects and presentations, there’s no reason why they should exist anymore. It’s not fair that your entire grade hangs in the balance of choosing the right group members or if your teacher paired you with people you can work with. Even though teamwork is a crucial part of adult life and having a successful job, teamwork should be encouraged, not mandatorily enforced for final project grades.
Teachers are paid to teach. They’re also paid to grade. Stop making group projects final projects and grade individual projects individually.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Jacey Gonzalez is a student at the University of Nevada and studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.