Group Projects are certainly one of the most annoying parts of the University experience.
It seems like no one enjoys them – other than teachers who have less work to mark, and those students who decide to lurk in the background while others do the work.
Anyone that has gone through the dreaded process of a group project will know the following stages all too well.
1. The First Communication
So the project has been set, the groups announced, and it’s time to communicate.
One member of the team typically goes on a flurry of adding friends on Facebook, before setting up a group chat.
An initial meeting is eventually set up, with everything running smoothly so far.
2. Initial Team Meeting
At the original meeting, the group seems to be optimistic – everyone wants to do well, people are bigging up their presenting skills, and motivation seems high.
Work is distributed among members, with everyone having a clear idea of what needs to be done, and when it should be done by.
3. Arranging the next meeting
So everyone is doing their own thing, but the group chat falls strangely quiet. As the date you set the first deadline for approaches, no one says anything.
You find that setting up the next meeting is difficult, and as the graph above shows, as time goes on, effort goes down.
4. First Draft
Eventually, the group do meet, and it allows the various parts of the project to be compiled into one document.
At this point, the PowerPoint presentation has been launched, typically with a flashy design that is meant to impress the lecturer.
This key moment means that the presentation is well on its way to being completed.
5. The Team Leader corrects the mistakes
But it falls to the team leader – who is the one that cares the most – to correct the mistakes of others. They will also improve the work of others too.
This does end up with the presentation ending up at a high standard, and ready for presentation practice.
By the time everyone else returns to the PowerPoint, it looks entirely different – the team leader deserves credit, but sadly they don’t get it.
6. Presentation Practice
The group unites and partakes in presentation practice. Once the catching up and gossiping about other groups is done, it is time to get down to business.
But by the time the group starts practicing, it becomes clear that no one really has much of an idea on which slide they are meant to be doing.
The practice descends into chaos, and it has to be cut short anyway as one person suddenly needs to leave, leading to an exodus.
7. The Morning of the Presentation
On presentation day, the nerves begin. Everyone is cautiously optimistic that the group should do well.
There are the inevitable final worries – such as missing references, where everyone will stand, and the final run through going poorly.
But eventually, everyone makes it to the lecture theatre, ready for the big moment.
8. The Presentation
All the preparation comes down to this – the actual prresentation. Months of hard work comes down to 10 minutes.
Of course, sometimes the presentation wiill be a success, other times it’ll be a total failure.
But once the presentation reaches the last slide, the group knows there is just one final hurdle to jump over – the dreaded question and answer section.
9. The Q&A
The questions from the lecturers turn into a bit of a press conference. Usually one person will take charge of the answers.
But then, to the group’s horror – the person that hasn’t contributed much to the presentation gets asked a question.
The whole group glares Tiger Woods style at them, waiting for them to make a mess of the situation.
10. The Walk of Shame
After the questions are complete, the group can finally walk back to their seats – knowing the work is over.
There are some awkward smiles at the lecturers, before looking at those in the audience who asked the group questions – looking at them in disgust.
11. The split
The group then waits for all of the other groups to complete their presentations. Eventually that moment comes, and it is time to leave.
Everyone goes their separate ways, relieved that the project is finally over. The group chat remains eerily quiet, never to be heard from again.