Group projects just don’t work over Zoom

Zeyma Martinez, Reporter

Professors generally argue that group projects are meant to help students develop teamwork and other skills that might be useful in the workplace.

While this might be true, not being able to meet in person affects the success a group project might otherwise have.

Before the pandemic, students were able to meet in person and work as a team to tackle projects. We were able to better divide the work and check in with our group members when we saw each other in class.

Because of the lack of in-person contact it has become easier for students to ignore text or e-mail conversations between their classmates regarding group projects. The lack of communication often leaves one person to do most, if not all, of the work.

During the spring semester when we first transitioned to Zoom, I had a group project and one of the members didn’t answer his text messages for a few days.

This caused the rest of the group anxiety, since our grade depended on his work as well.

Luckily, this group member turned in his part right before the deadline, but not all students are so fortunate. Many end up having to do double or triple the work due to communication complications that come with remote learning.

“I’ve found that I’m doing a lot of the work in my group projects, which is frustrating,” said Yessica Zayas, student at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Zayas said she was frustrated when it came to presentation day and nobody else spoke up.

This has been an issue for many students using Zoom, including Nicole Sotomayor, a student at California State University, Long Beach.

“Some people in my team wouldn’t show up [to Zoom], or would use the excuse that they had Wi-Fi issues, so I ended up doing the whole project by myself with little input from other group members,” Sotomayor said.

Not meeting in-person can make it easier for some group members to do less than their fair share of work for the project.

Professors should recognize that group projects don’t accomplish the same goals on Zoom as they would in person. Thus, they should be avoided as much as possible, depending on the class.

It isn’t fair for students to have to rely on their classmates, especially when they can’t meet in-person, like they would during a regular class.

A student’s grade should never be determined based on another student’s effort, especially when learning on Zoom and during a pandemic.

Minimizing the number of group projects over Zoom would help ease the stress that online learning already places on students.