What is likely to happen if two or more people are doing a uni assignment together, and one of them doesn't do their bit?

(17 Posts)
EmmaWoodlouse Tue 10-Jan-17 18:27:26

Just that really. Three students, one of them related to me, divided up this job among them, and one hasn't been in touch with the others at all about whether they're going to have their part ready on time. The other two have been working closely together including keeping in touch over Christmas to give each other updates. The third one has apparently deleted their FB account so they are now trying e-mailing them in a desperate attempt to find out what's going on. In the normal run of things they would not see this person again until the day the work is due in so if they don't get a reply to their e-mails they will just have to hope they turn up on the day with the goods.

They are convinced that if the third one hasn't done anything, or hasn't done a good job, they will all fail the assignment because they are being marked on teamwork as well as content. Is this likely? Is there anything they can or should say if it comes to that?

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titchy Tue 10-Jan-17 19:22:37

It's entirely possible they'd fail yes. They should contact the module tutor urgently and ask their advice. The two of them should prepare to have to do the whole thing between them.

monsterbookofty Tue 10-Jan-17 19:25:04

Agree with pp. Contact the module leader and make them aware of the situation.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-Jan-17 19:27:56

As others have said, the other two need to contact their tutor asap (before they hand in the work) - it might be useful if they can provide evidence of the work they have done, and the efforts they have made to involve the other person, in a factual non accusatory fashion.

NapoleonsNose Tue 10-Jan-17 19:31:41

Similar happened to me. I was in a group of four for a presentation. Three of us got together, organised the work between us, did the work and the fourth person just turned up on the day and used what we'd done for her. We all knew she was flakey and that she wouldn't do her fair share so we did it for her otherwise we would have failed. Galling though, especially as she got the glory of a first for that assignment despite doing bugger all! Definitely speak to the module leader and be prepared to pick up the slack.

Spam88 Tue 10-Jan-17 19:39:51

Depends on the marking criteria - for all group assignments I did in uni we received individual marks, so no they wouldn't all fail in that scenario. Depending on what the work is, one person not doing their part may affect everyone else's ability to do well anyway though. I definitely agree with PPs about making the tutor aware.

EmmaWoodlouse Tue 10-Jan-17 19:50:25

Ah thanks - going to pass on the suggestion to tell the tutor ASAP.

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lurkingnonparent Tue 10-Jan-17 19:50:47

I'm a uni lecturer currently taking a break from this evening's marking of group work.

We ask our students to do a peer assessment whereby they grade each others' performance and this is taken into account when it comes to marking.

It might be worth you asking your tutor if you can do this - of they might be planning to ask you to anyway.

We generally know who is pulling their weight though. Even in the classroom it's surprisingly obvious what the group dynamics are.

Ask your tutor for a word asap.

MotherFuckingChainsaw Tue 10-Jan-17 19:55:16

I don't think I've ever done a group work where at least one git DOESNT shirk off. (And I've done 3 very group work heavy uni courses)

It's par for the course

I now always keep a spreadsheet and email records of who agreed to to do what and who actually did what.

Contact the tutor, I think they expect it TBH.

Tigresswoods Tue 10-Jan-17 19:57:54

Urgh we did a lot of group work at uni. It was a PITA & in my experience the rubbish person can just coast through.

EekAndShriek Wed 11-Jan-17 01:45:14

It depends on the Uni and the marking criteria. My DCs Uni allows group members to give feedback on each other's work. DS had a group project where he and another teammate got high 70's and their two teammates got 40 something. DS documented everything and the final report was handed in with each members contribution helpfully colou coded so that whoever marked it could easily see who ad done what. DS and the other 'good' teammate kept a log of events, copies of all correspondence and emailed their lecturer as soon as it was apparent there was a problem.
The project counted towards their final degree and DS was adamant that his marks weren't going to suffer because of other people's laziness.
One of my DDs did similar and also ended up with much higher marks than some of her group.

It's different at different Unis though.one of DD1s friends was complaining that she ends up doing practically 100% of any project works on her own as all members of the group are marked the same.

ThisYearWillbeBetter Wed 11-Jan-17 12:19:42

Contact the tutor, and relay - without too much blame or emotion - wjat you've said in your OP. We need to know when thius happens & students can't sort it out for themselves. We really need to know.

chemenger Wed 11-Jan-17 15:10:57

I agree with pp's, contact the tutor. I would recommend being as neutral in tone as possible, state the facts, the attempts you have made to make the group work and leave it at that, don't launch an attack on your absent team member's character and work ethic. I have dealt with many such problems and sadly, it is not uncommon for there to be a mental health problem at the root of the problem, which obviously I can't discuss with the other students. I can, however, make adjustments and allowances to try to ensure that the rest of the group does not lose out.

EmmaWoodlouse Thu 12-Jan-17 19:51:38

Thanks again, everybody.

I should probably make it clearer that it wasn't me in the situation, it was one of my DC, but somehow I didn't want to get too specific.

Something has now come up that it would be hard to explain without getting specific, but let's just say the "missing" one is from a country where there has been some unrest recently, so there's some speculation that they might currently be stranded there. The others were going to see their tutor today to explain where they currently stand. I haven't heard how they got on, or whether the tutor could shed any light on this kid's whereabouts, but I now know there is less material missing than I first thought, and the others will probably be able to complete it without their classmate if necessary.

It's all good information for if the DC ever find themselves in a position like this again, anyway.

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ThisYearWillbeBetter Thu 12-Jan-17 20:13:24

And I think that the information about a student possibly being stranded in a conflict zone is a really useful example of how students shouldn't always jump to conclusions about the reasons for other students' attendance or otherwise. That's why it's always good to have a word with the tutor.

Sometimes we are privy to information we can't give to other students, but which means we know what's going on. THat's often when we'll step in and rearrange groups for group work.

starving Sat 14-Jan-17 23:58:39

This has happened twice to my dd. The first time they spoke to the tutor and were basically told to get on with it themselves. The whole group got the same mark. The second time there were only 3 in the group and with the pressure of other subjects etc the two workers were unable to pick up the slack and the group got a fail mark. Fortunately for dd she got enough marks in other parts of the course to get an overall pass but she wasn't happy!

EmmaWoodlouse Mon 16-Jan-17 16:20:07

All's well that ends well - the "missing" member of the group has reappeared, saying they deleted their FB for personal reasons not connected with the course (I didn't ask if it was anything to do with the situation in their country), they all worked together on the project for two days solid and just met their deadline. My DC is knackered but kind of exhilarated at having pulled it off. I think they learnt all something from the experience about making sure they have ways of communicating and agree when to communicate!

Thanks again to everybody who commented.

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