One of the assignments I dread the most each quarter is group presentations. You know, I see the value in these types of assignments; they build interpersonal skills, which can be applied to pretty much everything. But there’s so much that can go wrong in a group presentation.
For one, and this is probably the biggest concern, there’s a chance that you’ll have to carry a teammate, or that someone won’t give in the same effort as everyone else. I’ve had several experiences where one of my peers didn’t do as much work as the others, they did the bare minimum. It’s bothersome because your grade isn’t individual, so you have a responsibility to work together. There has to be trust that each person will do their part of the assignment. And what sucks is that, when one of the group members doesn’t do their part, someone has to pick up their slack, doing more work on top of the work from other classes.
Say one of the group members is behind, it becomes your responsibility to catch them up so that they can do their part in the assignment. I’ve had experiences where I had to explain everything we’ve been learning in the course in less than thirty minutes to a group member, either because they never paid attention or seldom showed up to the lectures. It adds more work on your part, and stress.
For me, group assignments have been stressful and are stressful. I really dislike them. I’d rather take an exam or write a paper. Group presentations just require a lot of attention and effort. It builds interpersonal skills, but requires a lot of patience. You also can’t wing it. Presentations tend to need practice, too. Luckily, because I’m an English major, I rarely get assigned group presentations.
How do you feel about group presentations? Have you had any similar experiences?