Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
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25-11-2013, 06:59 PM
Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
I do a design degree at University so it involves a lot of group work. I am working as part of a group for one project at the moment, me and 3 other people. My 3 peers spend the whole class time befriending each other and we end up getting nothing done each lesson. They never know what the task is and I always have to explain it to them, and then they don't trust me and ask the tutor what we are meant to do, who always tells them the exact thing I just told them.

I am attempting to lead the group to do the tasks we are set by working hard myself hoping to lead by example. I will ask them to start concentration on what we should be doing. Half the time they don't listen to me, and will continue to talk to themselves and show each other funny videos on the internet.

One of the 3 has been appointed the leader. He is not the smartest, without being arrogant I would say I am the smartest in terms of logic and practical sense, but he is the best at sketching, so the other 2 somehow think this makes him a good project leader. He spends too much time on little things like picking the correct font instead of actually trying to do the task at hand.

The other 2 are always bumming up to him, and will agree to whatever he says even when the ideas are not suitable and are way off target for the product specification. Its frustrating, especially when you know you are correct but cannot convince anyone else because they seem to value you as a lesser team member.

They are always making fun of what I am doing, some of it isn't even funny but the others laugh along because they are fake and are wanting to befriend the others. One example which happened today was that I wrote a survey to send out to gain some primary research. They made fun of my spelling, which was only because I wrote it quick as a first draft without reading it, and then they all laughed at me when I posted it on online internet forums that our target market uses. For example on cycling forums if our product was a biking product lets say. They said that they were just going to fill in the surveys themselves and pretend they were the target market. I said I didn't know why they were laughing at me because their idea was worse.

We end up meeting up outside of lessons to catch up but its always the same thing. We met up this evening and I turned up late as I was playing football. I achieved more in my 2 hours than the whole of them achieved in their 3 hours together. One of the team is also full of hot air, and talks a good game like, "lets meet up for 4 hours every day until its done". In reality we meet up for a couple of hours, the 3 of them talk all the time and nothing gets done.

I am finding it highly irritating being demeaned by the other group members and treating as if my ideas are stupid when in reality I am hardest working team member, the most determined to get a good grade and the one with the most practical ideas so far.

What can I do?

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Henry David Thoreau
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25-11-2013, 08:09 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
I've been in a very similar situation before. Group projects are THE WORST.
[Image: every-group-project-the-hangover.jpg]
The main advice I can offer is to accept the fact that you can't control the situation. They're going to do what they're going to do and there's not much you can say or do to change that.
That being said, what I ended up doing when I was in that position, was figuring out a way to break the project up between the four of us (even when professors try to create an assignment where you "have" to work together, there are ways around it) and then suggest we all did our parts separately and communicate via email. We weren't getting anything done when we got together in person, so I figure that might be a solution. I ended up being the only one to email my parts before the deadline we had set, so it wasn't a perfect solution... it ended up that everyone else procrastinated and on the morning before the project we were scrambling to get everything in.
I don't think, unfortunately, there is any particular magic fix to this dilemma. All you can do is do your best on the parts you're responsible for, develop a thick skin towards their jabs, and remember that you'll come out on the other side of this just fine. Even though it might feel like they don't really care about doing it RIGHT, they don't want to fail, either, and you just sort of have to try to take a relaxed approach/attitude and remain responsible for the things that you do.
Sorry... I wish there was some spell we could cast on them... hmm maybe if we pray REAL hard... Wink
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25-11-2013, 08:17 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
(25-11-2013 06:59 PM)TheLogicalAthiest Wrote:  I do a design degree at University so it involves a lot of group work. I am working as part of a group for one project at the moment, me and 3 other people. My 3 peers spend the whole class time befriending each other and we end up getting nothing done each lesson. They never know what the task is and I always have to explain it to them, and then they don't trust me and ask the tutor what we are meant to do, who always tells them the exact thing I just told them.

I am attempting to lead the group to do the tasks we are set by working hard myself hoping to lead by example. I will ask them to start concentration on what we should be doing. Half the time they don't listen to me, and will continue to talk to themselves and show each other funny videos on the internet.

One of the 3 has been appointed the leader. He is not the smartest, without being arrogant I would say I am the smartest in terms of logic and practical sense, but he is the best at sketching, so the other 2 somehow think this makes him a good project leader. He spends too much time on little things like picking the correct font instead of actually trying to do the task at hand.

The other 2 are always bumming up to him, and will agree to whatever he says even when the ideas are not suitable and are way off target for the product specification. Its frustrating, especially when you know you are correct but cannot convince anyone else because they seem to value you as a lesser team member.

They are always making fun of what I am doing, some of it isn't even funny but the others laugh along because they are fake and are wanting to befriend the others. One example which happened today was that I wrote a survey to send out to gain some primary research. They made fun of my spelling, which was only because I wrote it quick as a first draft without reading it, and then they all laughed at me when I posted it on online internet forums that our target market uses. For example on cycling forums if our product was a biking product lets say. They said that they were just going to fill in the surveys themselves and pretend they were the target market. I said I didn't know why they were laughing at me because their idea was worse.

We end up meeting up outside of lessons to catch up but its always the same thing. We met up this evening and I turned up late as I was playing football. I achieved more in my 2 hours than the whole of them achieved in their 3 hours together. One of the team is also full of hot air, and talks a good game like, "lets meet up for 4 hours every day until its done". In reality we meet up for a couple of hours, the 3 of them talk all the time and nothing gets done.

I am finding it highly irritating being demeaned by the other group members and treating as if my ideas are stupid when in reality I am hardest working team member, the most determined to get a good grade and the one with the most practical ideas so far.

What can I do?

I say do your work in private and subtly sabotage what they are 'doing'. That way at the end for grading you can subtly go up to your teacher and go: "Those fucks weren't doing anything and I stopped caring about carrying them through the course, so I did this in my free time, can you grade me on my work as opposed to their shit?"

Keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who is more than happy to let others do pretty much all of the work, is never absolutely sure what he's supposed to be doing with no talents or practical uses what-so-ever who made his educative life thus-far succeed with the use of others.

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25-11-2013, 08:19 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
Both great advice, I love free thought's addition. This is proof you actually wanted to do the assignment, when all is said and done.

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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25-11-2013, 08:24 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
(25-11-2013 08:09 PM)kaylabrianne Wrote:  I've been in a very similar situation before. Group projects are THE WORST.
[Image: every-group-project-the-hangover.jpg]
The main advice I can offer is to accept the fact that you can't control the situation. They're going to do what they're going to do and there's not much you can say or do to change that.
That being said, what I ended up doing when I was in that position, was figuring out a way to break the project up between the four of us (even when professors try to create an assignment where you "have" to work together, there are ways around it) and then suggest we all did our parts separately and communicate via email. We weren't getting anything done when we got together in person, so I figure that might be a solution. I ended up being the only one to email my parts before the deadline we had set, so it wasn't a perfect solution... it ended up that everyone else procrastinated and on the morning before the project we were scrambling to get everything in.
I don't think, unfortunately, there is any particular magic fix to this dilemma. All you can do is do your best on the parts you're responsible for, develop a thick skin towards their jabs, and remember that you'll come out on the other side of this just fine. Even though it might feel like they don't really care about doing it RIGHT, they don't want to fail, either, and you just sort of have to try to take a relaxed approach/attitude and remain responsible for the things that you do.
Sorry... I wish there was some spell we could cast on them... hmm maybe if we pray REAL hard... Wink

Your picture made me laugh. I love the Hangover!
I think I will suggest we don't meet up in person just to see how it goes but I have suggested this before and no-one listened. It seems the group is immune to sensible ideas! I guess I can only try my best and know whatever the outcome I did all I could to make this project a success.

Their jabs at me don't lower my self esteem as such, its more irritating than anything else, and I'm more concerned about my final grade than what they think of me. I understand that they are just trying to befriend the lead guy so they will do anything to try and impress him. They probably know I'm right but just go along with what the other dude says. I don't think one member of the group likes me though as he does most of the demeaning, he avoids making eye contact with me and I added him on Facebook just so I could send him a message about the project and he didn't accept my request. I don't feel bad though as its not my problem, I haven't done anything for him to dislike me.

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Henry David Thoreau
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25-11-2013, 08:25 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
Group work sucks. I agree with dividing up some of the responsibilities, but if you're trying to design something cohesive that can be tough. I would maybe make a list of things that everyone has done and hand it in to your professor when you turn in the project so he/she knows who did what.
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25-11-2013, 08:27 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
(25-11-2013 08:17 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  
(25-11-2013 06:59 PM)TheLogicalAthiest Wrote:  I do a design degree at University so it involves a lot of group work. I am working as part of a group for one project at the moment, me and 3 other people. My 3 peers spend the whole class time befriending each other and we end up getting nothing done each lesson. They never know what the task is and I always have to explain it to them, and then they don't trust me and ask the tutor what we are meant to do, who always tells them the exact thing I just told them.

I am attempting to lead the group to do the tasks we are set by working hard myself hoping to lead by example. I will ask them to start concentration on what we should be doing. Half the time they don't listen to me, and will continue to talk to themselves and show each other funny videos on the internet.

One of the 3 has been appointed the leader. He is not the smartest, without being arrogant I would say I am the smartest in terms of logic and practical sense, but he is the best at sketching, so the other 2 somehow think this makes him a good project leader. He spends too much time on little things like picking the correct font instead of actually trying to do the task at hand.

The other 2 are always bumming up to him, and will agree to whatever he says even when the ideas are not suitable and are way off target for the product specification. Its frustrating, especially when you know you are correct but cannot convince anyone else because they seem to value you as a lesser team member.

They are always making fun of what I am doing, some of it isn't even funny but the others laugh along because they are fake and are wanting to befriend the others. One example which happened today was that I wrote a survey to send out to gain some primary research. They made fun of my spelling, which was only because I wrote it quick as a first draft without reading it, and then they all laughed at me when I posted it on online internet forums that our target market uses. For example on cycling forums if our product was a biking product lets say. They said that they were just going to fill in the surveys themselves and pretend they were the target market. I said I didn't know why they were laughing at me because their idea was worse.

We end up meeting up outside of lessons to catch up but its always the same thing. We met up this evening and I turned up late as I was playing football. I achieved more in my 2 hours than the whole of them achieved in their 3 hours together. One of the team is also full of hot air, and talks a good game like, "lets meet up for 4 hours every day until its done". In reality we meet up for a couple of hours, the 3 of them talk all the time and nothing gets done.

I am finding it highly irritating being demeaned by the other group members and treating as if my ideas are stupid when in reality I am hardest working team member, the most determined to get a good grade and the one with the most practical ideas so far.

What can I do?

I say do your work in private and subtly sabotage what they are 'doing'. That way at the end for grading you can subtly go up to your teacher and go: "Those fucks weren't doing anything and I stopped caring about carrying them through the course, so I did this in my free time, can you grade me on my work as opposed to their shit?"

Keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who is more than happy to let others do pretty much all of the work, is never absolutely sure what he's supposed to be doing with no talents or practical uses what-so-ever who made his educative life thus-far succeed with the use of others.

We have peer assessment forms at the end of the project, but they only account for 10% of the overall grade. I am going to play them smart and claim I will give them a good mark in the hopes they do the same to me. I will then give them the low marks they deserve. I think this is justified because they have done fuck all on the project, and also if they really mean their demeaning comments then they will be giving me low marks anyway so I need to counterbalance them.

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Henry David Thoreau
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25-11-2013, 08:28 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
(25-11-2013 08:17 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  
(25-11-2013 06:59 PM)TheLogicalAthiest Wrote:  I do a design degree at University so it involves a lot of group work. I am working as part of a group for one project at the moment, me and 3 other people. My 3 peers spend the whole class time befriending each other and we end up getting nothing done each lesson. They never know what the task is and I always have to explain it to them, and then they don't trust me and ask the tutor what we are meant to do, who always tells them the exact thing I just told them.

I am attempting to lead the group to do the tasks we are set by working hard myself hoping to lead by example. I will ask them to start concentration on what we should be doing. Half the time they don't listen to me, and will continue to talk to themselves and show each other funny videos on the internet.

One of the 3 has been appointed the leader. He is not the smartest, without being arrogant I would say I am the smartest in terms of logic and practical sense, but he is the best at sketching, so the other 2 somehow think this makes him a good project leader. He spends too much time on little things like picking the correct font instead of actually trying to do the task at hand.

The other 2 are always bumming up to him, and will agree to whatever he says even when the ideas are not suitable and are way off target for the product specification. Its frustrating, especially when you know you are correct but cannot convince anyone else because they seem to value you as a lesser team member.

They are always making fun of what I am doing, some of it isn't even funny but the others laugh along because they are fake and are wanting to befriend the others. One example which happened today was that I wrote a survey to send out to gain some primary research. They made fun of my spelling, which was only because I wrote it quick as a first draft without reading it, and then they all laughed at me when I posted it on online internet forums that our target market uses. For example on cycling forums if our product was a biking product lets say. They said that they were just going to fill in the surveys themselves and pretend they were the target market. I said I didn't know why they were laughing at me because their idea was worse.

We end up meeting up outside of lessons to catch up but its always the same thing. We met up this evening and I turned up late as I was playing football. I achieved more in my 2 hours than the whole of them achieved in their 3 hours together. One of the team is also full of hot air, and talks a good game like, "lets meet up for 4 hours every day until its done". In reality we meet up for a couple of hours, the 3 of them talk all the time and nothing gets done.

I am finding it highly irritating being demeaned by the other group members and treating as if my ideas are stupid when in reality I am hardest working team member, the most determined to get a good grade and the one with the most practical ideas so far.

What can I do?

I say do your work in private and subtly sabotage what they are 'doing'. That way at the end for grading you can subtly go up to your teacher and go: "Those fucks weren't doing anything and I stopped caring about carrying them through the course, so I did this in my free time, can you grade me on my work as opposed to their shit?"

Keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who is more than happy to let others do pretty much all of the work, is never absolutely sure what he's supposed to be doing with no talents or practical uses what-so-ever who made his educative life thus-far succeed with the use of others.

We have peer assessment forms at the end of the project, but they only account for 10% of the overall grade. I am going to play them smart and claim I will give them a good mark in the hopes they do the same to me. I will then give them the low marks they deserve. I think this is justified because they have done fuck all on the project, and also if they really mean their demeaning comments then they will be giving me low marks anyway so I need to counterbalance them.

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Henry David Thoreau
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25-11-2013, 08:38 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
(25-11-2013 08:09 PM)kaylabrianne Wrote:  I've been in a very similar situation before. Group projects are THE WORST.
[Image: every-group-project-the-hangover.jpg]
The main advice I can offer is to accept the fact that you can't control the situation. They're going to do what they're going to do and there's not much you can say or do to change that.
That being said, what I ended up doing when I was in that position, was figuring out a way to break the project up between the four of us (even when professors try to create an assignment where you "have" to work together, there are ways around it) and then suggest we all did our parts separately and communicate via email. We weren't getting anything done when we got together in person, so I figure that might be a solution. I ended up being the only one to email my parts before the deadline we had set, so it wasn't a perfect solution... it ended up that everyone else procrastinated and on the morning before the project we were scrambling to get everything in.
I don't think, unfortunately, there is any particular magic fix to this dilemma. All you can do is do your best on the parts you're responsible for, develop a thick skin towards their jabs, and remember that you'll come out on the other side of this just fine. Even though it might feel like they don't really care about doing it RIGHT, they don't want to fail, either, and you just sort of have to try to take a relaxed approach/attitude and remain responsible for the things that you do.
Sorry... I wish there was some spell we could cast on them... hmm maybe if we pray REAL hard... Wink

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26-11-2013, 02:37 PM
RE: Can someone give me their insight/advice on how to deal with my course mates?
They are cruising on your efforts and you're allowing this to happen. Request to your prof. that you would like to do this on your own as it's not your responsibility to keep the others involved. You can always go over the prof's head if you have to.
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