I just wrapped up my first semester of my senior year of college and I have been thinking more and more about how this whole education system is supposed to work. I have published thoughts on my stance before regarding education and incentives (and how most everything is pretty messed up currently)…but today I want to focus in on dispelling a myth that administrators and most likely “college review centers” seem to believe.
Group projects are stupid if the goal is learning.
There is this widely accepted belief on campus that classes can be about learning to collaborate and work on a team. That is silly. Why should I sacrifice my ability to learn everything about a topic such that I give up my power to execute to someone else?
Group projects are designed such that professors grade less work.
I really do believe in this truth. I see very very few circumstances where it is strictly better for the student to be working in a team environment.
Why should I be graded for other people’s work? How does that make sense in the slightest?
This is not an obvious view because, on the outside, collaborative group projects sound like a healthy exercise in teamwork and preparation for the real world.
This is not the reality. And, in the real world, you are not PAYING MONEY TO LEARN, you are working.
There are much better ways to learn to work with other people…not simply dividing up essays or code.