My grade will depend on what others do
Fact or Fiction? Fact
Although some instructors make provisions for individual grades even on a collaborative project, the fact remains that at least a part, if not the whole grade will depend on what others do. Although this may be frightening, the positive side to this is that it increases people's motivation and investment in the project. Of course, not everyone will care about grades as much as others. In this case, the group needs to make decisions early on for the "slacker" contingency. To read more about how to deal with unequal investments in the task, choose any of the items below:
Make Rules and Stick to Them
Before you even start work on a project, make rules about what will happen to those members not doing their part and outline the consequences. Here are some possible "consequences" other groups have used:
- If someone misses a meeting, or doesn't do a certain task, he/she has to type the final paper, buy pizza for the next meeting, etc.
- If more than one meeting is missed or a member consistently fails to do what she/he is supposed to, the group can decide not to include that name on the project. (Check this one with your instructor)
- In the same scenario, the group can decide to write a written evaluation of the member's work and pass it in to the instructor with the paper.
No one, usually, wants to anger their peers. When someone isn't doing his/her work, other group members need to tell that member. Many times people who end up doing more than their share do so because they don't complain.
Deal with It
This may sound harsh, but the reality of life outside of school is that some people do more work than others but are not necessarily penalized for it. You need to learn how to deal with these issues given that in the working world, you are frequently dependent on others you work with. Learning how to handle such situations now is a good learning experience in itself.