Group Project as Final Exam Grade?

<p>My d has 2 AP classes, where the final exam grade is being replaced by a group project. Although I dislike group projects, I understand they are not going to be removed from the HS curriculum. However, I don't think it's reasonable to have a group grade replace the final exam, which in our district, is 10% of the grade for the year(each quarter is weighted twice, midterm and final are weighted once)</p>

<p>Needless to say, 2 of the participants are terminally busy, my d has had to cancel work hours, and all for a 30 minute video project. </p>

<p>Anybody else have an opinion/experience??</p>

<p>There are group projects and then there are group projects. Not sure what kind of project you're looking at.</p>

<p>Project-based learning is gaining a foothold as an effective technique in the classroom these days--can lead to higher-level thinking and make content more meaningful. Most jobs nowadays require significant
collaborative skills. ...Just a thought...</p>

<p>In the majority of group projects my son was involved with in high school, he did ALL the work for the entire project or close to it. This was the only way he could insure that his grade would not be compromised by others who were not willing to put in the effort to make an "A."</p>

<p>I think group projects for a grade are unfair. If they want to teach collaboration they need to do it in some other manner--one which does not hold the good students hostage to the slackers.</p>

<p>Wow. The moment I saw the title of this thread, I foresaw its content. (And I was 95% correct!) I totally agree. I'm a freshman in HS, enrolled in ever honors class. Each had some sort of final project which counted for about 5-10% of the final grade. However, in Honors Global History, we had a 20-minute video project worth 20% of the final grade. Thus, the final, homework, tests, and a "project", will be thrusted into an amalgamtion for my final grade. I believe this is completely unfair; and seeing how harsh the teacher's rubric is, I doubt I'll get through with higher than a 95. BS.</p>

<p>No different at our HS. A couple of AP courses have group projects totaling ~15% of the grade, so students' can't blow it off. School goes till mid-June, so everyone keeps at it,k or their A will become a B real fast. That's life. Plus, educators ALL say that employers want employees that can work together....</p>

<p>btw: D had group projects in two college courses which were in lieu of a final.</p>

<p>My S had group projects earlier in high school where he ended up doing all the work himself. For his senior honors physics class, there was a group project as a final. I think it helped that they got to choose their teammates; S had friends in his group where he knew they'd share the tasks and get it done on time.</p>

<p>Um, I have a full time job that requires collaboration, and higher level thinking, etc. So I am aware of the concept - but a group project where the teacher has no knowledge of any specific students contribution (or lack thereof) is not the way any of my jobs have ever worked. Typically, in a project, ultimately it is recognized that there are varying levels of effort and responsibility, and accolades are distributed accordingly.</p>

<p>I wouldn't dignify this by calling it project based learning - it seems like the same old group work I did 20 years ago in high school. It's an easy way out for the teacher - I think the responsible students would rather write a 10 page paper, than make this video. Oh, and all the equipment is at the parents expense - video camera, editing sw, disk for the camera, etc.</p>

<p>I have come to dislike these projects also, having seen my DD get the other's work at the very last minute leaving her to put it all together after she should have been in bed. It is a good life lesson, however, that in the working world this is the way it is. The people who care the most about the outcome usually do the most work. OTOH, slackers don't typically take the ap classes at our hs since there is so much work. And my DD has learned to be a lot pushier!</p>

<p>Educators say that employers are looking for employees with communication and "team-building skills". My ASS. They merely need an excuse to shift their laziness of not wanting to compose and grade finals.</p>

<p>15% of the final grade sounds a lot, but if most people get nearly full points, then the effect may be small.</p>

<p>As an instructor, I usually make sure that part of the final exam can only be answered well by those who actively participated in the project.</p>

<p>Another common technique, which I don't use, is to ask students to evaluate their team members' contributions.</p>

<p>My reaction is--welcome to college. Although I know it is very important for hs students to get good grades, it is also important to prepare them for college. </p>

<p>Group projects are prevalent in college classes. If your hs student can learn how to deal (and I have heard many rants from my D's in college about group projects), she will be better prepared. And many are weighted much more than 10%.</p>

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Educators say that employers are looking for employees with communication and "team-building skills". My ASS. They merely need an excuse to shift their laziness of not wanting to compose and grade finals.

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<p>I understand that there are pros and cons when it comes to group projects. However, I find this comment really offensive as well as invalid. To say that teachers assign group projects because they are lazy and don't want to create and grade final exams is unbelievable. Not all learning should be through test taking. That is one kind of learning and one kind of evaluation, but should not be the only kind. Group projects are not easier for a teacher. There is still grading involved. </p>

<p>By the way I am a former elem. school teacher and did a bunch of group projects with my students. In fact, when I was in grad school at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, I did a major paper on small group collaboration in the classroom. There is significant rationale behind what can be learned in the process of group collaboration. Some of these skills cannot be learned through testing. There is a place for all types of learning experiences as different skills are experienced in these situations. </p>

<p>I'm also a parent. My kids did group projects from K-12. Then, in undergrad school, they did many group and partner projects. One of my kids just finished a course in grad school at MIT and the final project was not an exam, but it was a small group project as well. </p>

<p>If you don't like group projects in high school.....watch out as they are also in college, grad school, and the work world.</p>

<p>DS was in a team project with a senior in a course known for being horrendously rigorous. The other kid got a job offer in January, changed the course to Pass/Fail and DS was left with practically all the work. Another thing learned that isn't listed in the course curriculum.</p>

<p>As a parent, I do hear ya when kids have a group project and some kids in the group slack off and your kid does all the work. That can suck. </p>

<p>In my experience, while that happened in K-12 a lot for my kids too, it didn't really happen as much in college or grad school. I am GUESSING that this may be due to the fact that they went to college and grad school at places that had like-minded peers with similar levels of motivation that they possess. Most of them worked hard and cared about the work, so there were not slackers as much as was experienced in K-12.</p>

<p>I never did a group project in college. I did a several two person projects in grad school that worked out all right, though other pairs did not. In all my years with two kids I've only seen one school project work out well. That's because 90% of the project was done in school, it was very clear what everyone's job was (they were putting together mini-magazines and if you didn't write an article it was your article that was missing). The teacher kept an eye on the participants and fired kids that weren't keeping there end up. (They got to do boring English work instead.) It was a great project. I was happy to write a glowing recommendation for her so that she could get an award for it.</p>

<p>I've never had any problem with group projects at work because the boss kept track of what people were up to.</p>

<p>^^Sorry my kids have not had the same experience in college. Some care, some do not. So if you really want an A, you have to deal with those in the group who would be happy w/ a B or even a C. So you end up doing their work (usually in the case of my kids) or not. That is the lesson to be learned.</p>

<p>My daughter also ended up doing most of her "group projects" in HS by herself. The other kids would just dump it on her (they would say "you are so smart, you will do a much better job than us") and she would spend all weekend killing herself while they relaxed. Then she was given one for a final and I had had enough. I contacted the teacher and explained what happens in these so called "group" projects and that I did not feel them appropriate for a final (20% of grade in our district). She was completely unaware that some kids were doing all the work. She thanked me for my call, but said it was too late to change anything.</p>

<p>About a week later she called me and said she had thought a lot about what I had told her and that she had decided to give the kids an option next year of either doing a group project or one on their own. I am glad I voiced my concerns.</p>

<p>In high school, D did the final edit on all group projects. Everyone's section was assigned a due date and if they didn't have their material to her by the deadline all h**l broke loose. Can you say control freak?! Her experience has been much better in college. So far, everyone has pulled their weight.</p>