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Students cope with group project stress

Students cope with group project stress

Kathryn Martin

Brogy Giesen, junior communication major, and Andrew Davids, junior biology education major, work on their group project on April 21 in William Allen White Library about the amount of vitamin C in Mountain Dew and Sun Drop.

As the semester comes to a close, many students are finishing class projects, often with an assigned group. Students working together in groups often experience conflict, usually with students having very busy schedules and higher levels of stress at the end of the semester.

Tabitha Keast, senior interdisciplinary studies major, Morgan Laughlin, junior accounting major and Spencer Bauman, junior marketing major spent Monday night downstairs in William Allen White library working on their presentation about hiring capable personnel for their principles of management class. Laughlin said their group did not pick the topic, but found the topic very interesting.

“Every business has a different method of hiring,” Laughlin said.

Keast said the group interviewed several businesses in Emporia.

“We did a lot of research about the hiring process,” Keast said. “We got data from all types of businesses in Emporia, big and small.”

The group frequently experienced schedule conflicts throughout their time working on the project together – especially at the end of the semester – and frequently had to take advantage of the library’s new 24-hour schedule. Bauman said the group usually had to meet late at night in the library.

“Finding a time that works for everyone can be stressful, but we were able to get this to work,” Keast said.

Some students get lucky and end up in a group where there is little to no conflict. Andrew Davids, secondary education biology major, and Brody Giesen, communication major, started working on their group project for their quantitative analysis class after returning from spring break.

Davids and Giesen analyzed the amount of vitamin C found in Mountain Dew and Sun Drop.

“We actually found that there is more vitamin C in Mountain Dew and Sun Drop than the FDA says there is,” Davids said.

Davids and Giesen said schedule conflicts were not an issue while working on the project.

“Picking a topic was probably the hardest part,” Giesen said. “It was picking something and just getting things started. The beginning was the hard part, but actually getting it done was pretty easy.”

Davids said they picked Mountain Dew to analyze because it is Giesen’s favorite soda.

Individual students might prefer a different learning style  than the forced projects.

In an article in the Journal of Statistics Education, Joan Garfield, doctor of Educational Psychology wrote, “students may want the teacher to do more explaining, and telling them the right answers, rather than struggle wit a problem themselves. Some students may prefer to work alone, and resist being forced to work in a group.”

“I’m glad I got to work with Morgan and Spencer,” Keast said. “Getting to know people is a pretty big part of the college experience, so group projects can be rewarding in that way.”

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