A group without a group: How the Groupme app is redefining group projects.

We all have been sitting in class on the first day, a.k.a. syllabus day, and we hear the two words we seem to dread… “Group project.” I have had semesters where my group projects have been fun and helped me learn how to communicate with several different types of people. However, I have also had the semesters where my group projects made me highly dislike the class. I feel like I have had played a handful of different roles in each of the rougher group projects…

  • The leader role taken on because no one else will take charge, but it ends up backfiring on me. I have been the one to try and initiate group work and try to get the group motivated, but no one feels like chiming in to help. It is plain awkward and it is kind of like pulling teeth to get people to respond.
  • The sideliner who chimes in occasionally to make it seem to the group that I am involved but really they are all doing a lot more work than I am. This tends to work out by being the funny one or the one who plans the meet up times. (I also like to call this the strategic slacker)
  • The one thinking, “who does this kid think he/she is?”. This is where I, along with the rest of the group, have had no say in what has been going on while one person decides to take on all the responsibility on his/her shoulders. This person also won’t allow any of us to help.

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We have all played various roles in a bad group project. Most of the time the end result, the part that matters to your grade like the powerpoint or speech, ends up not being so bad. But man was it a rough ride getting there. With all this in mind, these group projects gave me a random thought the other day which was, “how did I survive these bad group projects before Groupme?”.

Don’t get me wrong, I get annoyed at the app because of the excessive amount of groups I have found myself in, but I often forget how much more annoyed I used to be by having to plan every group meeting time or having to text everything out via text (which there always seemed to be that one person who didn’t have an iPhone and they would complain about all of the separate texts they were receiving from various numbers).

Groupme has changed the group project game in college courses. Plain and simple. I have realized this during my last semester more than ever before. I was stubborn and held out on getting this app, like I usually do at first with any app, but it truly has helped me out in many ways this semester. My appreciation for the app skyrocketed when I realized I could also access it on my computer. Revolutionary.

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So how does this tie into my experience with bad group projects? Well because I have not had as many while having this app than I did in the past. Honestly. This app has actually held me accountable and up to date with what my group is working on. This app along with the ability to chime into google docs has made group work much more convenient. I have noticed that my group members are more likely to chime in and be apart of the group with this app as well because they don’t exactly have an excuse to not pitch in.

But this did get me thinking one last thought that I cannot seem to get out of my mind. Yes this app has made group projects much easier to balance in my schedule, but is it taking away from the communication skills I once learned from these assignments? I of course mean face to face communication.

I would like to know other people’s thoughts on how they think the Groupme app has changed the dynamic of group projects, negatively or positively. Comment your thoughts.




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