Student Thoughts: Why do students need to work in groups?

by Heather Willkins/ Contributing Writer

Whenever you hear the teacher or professor say the words ‘group’ and ‘work’ together or even ‘team’ and ‘work’ together, you know your day just got worse. Even though most businesses have teams or groups and some law enforcement organizations have groups of two or more to help with investigations, there are just days where you don’t want to work in a group but you have to show up with a smile on your face anyway.

Group members usually receive more complaints than the actual group itself. Some members assume the group needs a leader and voluntarily become the group leader without asking anyone else if they want to be the person in charge. Other times, you have one group member who just does all the work because no one else wants to organize and manage the group’s information. In most cases, you have that one group member who is completely ignored and isn’t involved with the group’s decision making until the approaching deadline.

Why do people assume working in groups makes everything easier than working alone? Some businesses assume that by working in a group, the paperwork is done faster. In other businesses, the paperwork is completed and delivered on time by the individual. Not all businesses and corporations follow the same general guidelines about group work; they just do it so there is no mess and no fuss about the job and getting everything done in a timely fashion.

Groups are even used in educational facilities. Teachers who enforce group work often believe that it helps students with their managing abilities and enhances their skills in both communication and problem solving. But there are exceptions to this rule and usually those who do not wish to participate in groups often become the lone wolf. The lone wolf will be singled out by other members because of the lack of effort on the individual’s behalf. Being a lone wolf isn’t a problem if you’re in a career position that doesn’t involve group work but for those career paths that require a team of people it can be pretty challenging to get along with anyone.

Whether you are a lone wolf or an avid group person, working with someone else won’t kill you because friends are yet to be made and relationships are yet to be discovered. You can be for or against group work, but eventually you will have to deal with having professional working partnerships in the long run.

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