There is such a stigma around group projects today. To me, I either love them or hate them, and it all depends on different factors. There isn't a formula that can just make group projects work. The issue is you're probably going to come across a lot of group projects throughout your time at any university.
Students ask all the time: Why are we doing this? The teacher always responds with something usually along the lines of, "You don't get to choose who you work with in the real world. This will help you learn how to deal with all kinds of people and work with different personalities." And honestly, what they're saying makes sense! But you have to dig a little deeper and actually be put through it to understand that that isn't exactly what a work environment is like. I comfort 4 years of restaurant experience, where I am constantly working in a team to achieve a goal. I can tell you, from my personal experience, that work projects, are very different from school projects.
When it comes to work, everyone is getting paid to achieve the best result in their job environment. You have a chance to bond with everyone and get to know how each person can be of use to a different part of the project. Usually, everyone is very driven because of the compensation and the reputation it will give them.
School is a whole different world. People pay to be here, not get paid to be here. So already, kids can be filled with dread when they are forced to do something they don't want to do. The students here are not all motivated to achieve great results. Everyone's priorities are different, some have harder classes they need to focus on, jobs to help them pay for school, or student organizations that they are a part of. Because of this, people aren't going to put in the same amount of effort that someone who is only doing school and no extracurriculars.
Let me give you an example. A real life example. Currently, I have 3 projects that are due for one group from one class, and a semester long group project for another class. On top of that you can add midterms coming up, recruiting events, and family coming into town. If you can't tell by that, I don't have much spare time to have to worry about these group projects. I have one group that is basically impossible to get on the same page with. I am trying my best to lead this group and delegate tasks, but people aren't even responding to my group texts. During our group meeting, people just critique the work that I have already completed, but they haven't even added any work themselves. People do not have the same mindset when trying to get group projects done. In my opinion, they should not be embedded into schoolwork. You learn team building skills outside of school, when you are not being graded in order to get a degree.
Please students if you read this, don't be the person who doesn't do any work in group projects. You guys have to work together in order to achieve a good grade, and it will never happen if you don't put in the effort.