Ever since high school, there's been graded group work. Whether presentations, tests, papers, different assignments, etc. have been a thing and students have been complaining about it. With good reason too. It isn't exactly fair to the students when there are a few people in the group that try their hardest and put a lot of effort into it and then they get a lower grade because someone decided they didn't want to do their own work. It's also not the easiest to work with a group of people if you don't get along with them or some just refuse to do their work.
This is probably the biggest reason that students don't like group projects. I mean yes, it's difficult sometimes to work with other students but if the instructor could see the individual work that each participant is making, then I think they would change their grading styles.
I took a poll on Twitter and asked the following questions: "Do you think it's fair that everyone is given the same grade in some group projects?" 54 people voted and six percent said yes, thirty-three percent said sometimes and sixty-one percent said no. I also asked, "Do you think that it's fair that everyone should have the same answer in group tests?" 33 people voted and forty-two percent said yes and fifty-eight percent said no. As you can see, the majority of the population that who are college students voted that it's unfair to the students who put in the work to get a good grade and it is brought down because some people choose to not pull their weight.
An article written about group projects makes some good points about how working together can help with retention rates and gives a better understanding of the material. But it also says how students can become frustrated quickly when they don't establish their roles in the group and figure out what everyone is doing.
An example is given of a boy in high school who is in a group writing project where he and a classmate have to write a paper together. It's split up where they each have to write half of the paper and hand it in. When the due date comes around he checks his grade and it's marked incomplete. He goes to his classmate and his classmate tells him that he didn't hand in the assignment so now they both have a late assignment until the other boy turns in his half of the paper and a lower grade.
Do you see why that could be a problem? Someone turns in their part and the other participant doesn't. That's not very fair to give someone a bad grade because someone else decided to not put much or any effort into it.
I had a group test in algebra last week and it was awful. No one could agree on an answer so then a few of us had to change our answer to please one of our classmates so we could turn the assignment in. It's important to let people, especially those of us in college who pay for our education, decide their own answers for a test that's worth twenty percent of our grade.