Group projects: here to stay

By on November 7, 2007

No matter what your major is, we all have to do it. It is part of college and we cannot escape it. It is group work. They can range from working together for class work, an assignment or a presentation.

So why do professors assign them? Marketing professor Leonard LaBonia, relates his own experience of working in the real word saying that few things are done alone.

In most careers, whether in the business, communication, health science, or liberal arts field, there is the guarantee of working with others.

“Everyone has some skill,” LaBonia said. “Some are more creative or analytical and when you combine them together, you learn from everyone else.”

But how do students feel about group work? Junior media production major Josh Schnitzer said, “You have the ability to spread out the work and not stress about it.”

Although group projects enable students to distribute work among groupmates, some may find working in teams to be more challenging.

“Sometimes you may be in a group where not all the group members participate equally, and then it gets annoying,” said senior psychology major Chiara Rizzo. “In a case like that, there is usually one person doing all the work.”

Although she expresses this opinion, she also said, “I think group work is beneficial to students because it also brings another perspective on the assignment other than your own.”

Another benefit of group work is the preparation it provides for the workforce.

“I have to work with doctors, nurses, other physical therapists, and any one else in a hospital settings,” said junior physical therapy major Christine Su. Su says that group projects, such as working together in labs or in a classroom setting, are all in preparation for her field.

Professors also recognize other advantages of group work. English professor Renee Tursi, designates group projects in order for students to experience learning and challenges in alternate ways.

“(Groups) are useful with people they don’t choose to work with on their own. You see (students) being exposed to the views of someone different than themselves,” Tursi said.

Whether students like it or not, group projects are here to stay. Working in groups helps to prepare for the real world by allowing students to work with peers with different viewpoints and skill sets. And sometimes, it can even be a fun learning experience.


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