New York City, NY — by Ishir Talapatra
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
There is perhaps no class assignment as dreaded as a group project. Most students consider it a waste of time, or at the very least an assignment that will be a struggle to complete as your fellow group members cite prior commitments to skip meetings — inevitably leaving you to do the brunt of the work yourself. And of course, everyone will receive the same grade. It’s understandable that after these experiences, students are less inclined to approach group projects with a positive attitude. However, despite their flaws, group projects have a few redeeming qualities that make them essential to your education.
Whatever field you find yourself in after college, whether that be screenwriting or software development, knowing how to work with other people is a necessity. A 2014 Stanford University study found that collaboratively-minded workers “persisted 64 percent longer” in difficult tasks, while still reporting less fatigue than their more solitary counterparts. It can easily be argued that, at their best, group projects have the same effect at the college level.
If your partners are equally — or more — motivated and inclined to brainstorm ideas, you might end up with a better project than what you would have created on your own. Working creatively with others can help broaden your horizons, allowing you to see things from different perspectives and bounce ideas off of other people until you reach the best outcome.
Of course, having productive and inspiring partners isn’t always what happens. We’ve all had our share of bad experiences, but they can arguably make group projects even more important. Just like in college, plenty of our future co-workers, or even present co-workers for those of us in internships, might slack off or leave a greater workload for the rest of us.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.