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My thesis group mate is an A student but doesn't work at all

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

He doesn't show up in our group project(circuit testing, documentation, software etc.). My batch mates think he's the smart kid. He only relies on Test scores, but when it comes to projects (not only thesis) he doesn't show up/ work at all.

He even gives us the worst excuse we've ever heard which is 'with his gf' in any meeting we had but i think he is secretly studying for test scores. I don't want to go up against him because he is famous kid in our batch someone might defend him and go against me with ********.

in addition to that he is also a good cheater which is i think why he got his A's

I am EE btw.
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
901
2
What's your question?
 
  • #3
I think he's asking how to deal with his non-working group mate. In that case, I think it's best to talk to him and try to work out the situation.
 
  • #4
Choppy
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
4,570
1,656
One of the points of group work is that it's supposed to teach you skills for handling situations exactly like this. (Although, in my experience, no one actually teaches said skills - you're more-or-less thrown into the water and you sink or swim.)

In group work one of the most important steps from the begininng is the definition of responsibilites. Everyone in the group needs to understand and agree to:
- what they are responsible for,
- how the credit will be assigned,
- and even perhaps consequences for under-performing.

I don't know what point you're at in the project, it sounds like you need this person to agree to and take ownership of some particular responsibilites. To do this, you need to meet with everyone in the group and bring this up formally. If said person is not in attendance you can establish a quorum decision and inform him of it somehow.

Establish a quantitative means of tracking progress, so that if someone is not pulling his or her weight, you have something quantitative to present them with. If you are later responsible for group self-evalatuations this also gives you something objective on which to base your evaluations.

Then, once someone isn't doing his agreed-to work you have a series of means to address the problem:
- address the matter informally (one-on-one)
- address the matter formally (at a group meeting)
- bring the matter to the attention of the professor in charge of the class.

Avoid tactics such as those in your post where you assault this person's character (insisting he cheats, or gives lame excuses) as they are unlikely to result in any improvement in his contributions to the group work, but are likely to create some hostile feelings between you and he.

Good luck!
 
  • #5
gb7nash
Homework Helper
805
1
Like the previous poster said, lay out the guidelines for what everyone has to do. If this guy doesn't pull his weight, talk to him and tell him the situation first. If that doesn't work, narc him out (with the other team members if you can). Group projects are meant to be a group effort. By the way, who cares if he's popular. If his friends aren't in your group, they have no say in the matter.

A similar situation happened to me where one guy wasn't pulling his weight. I was nice at first and gave the guy a couple of chances. After that, I went to the instructor and told him the situation. In the end, everyone else in the group got an A and he got an E.
 
  • #6
323
0
Don't let this guy walk all over you. Like others have said, confront him about this, or even confront your professor and tell him/her the situation. If he still fails to work with you guys, then just make sure he gets 0 credit.

I remember I had a similar experience with someone like this. The first lab report we were supposed to do as a group and he barely did anything at all claiming that "oh my internet is out" or "sorry I couldnt contact you my phone was dead." It didn't take long for me to realize he was just a lazy *** and didn't want to do ****. I let him slide for that lab report seeing as he DID do about 1/10 of the report. The next report the same BS excuses, and I remember he said to me the night before the report was due(which I had to spend 4+ hours doing) "can you just make sure you put my name on it too?" I said "sure" and did not put his name down. I turned it in, he got a zero and was confused and I told him he didn't do anything and that I'm not working with him again. Next class he wasnt there, and dropped the course.

So yeah, don't let something like ^ happen, because it will realllllly piss you off.
 
  • #7
1,086
2
The next report the same BS excuses, and I remember he said to me the night before the report was due(which I had to spend 4+ hours doing) "can you just make sure you put my name on it too?" I said "sure" and did not put his name down. I turned it in, he got a zero and was confused and I told him he didn't do anything and that I'm not working with him again. Next class he wasnt there, and dropped the course.

So yeah, don't let something like ^ happen, because it will realllllly piss you off.
To the OP, please don't do that, either. If you do do that, then tell that person what you're going to do, because him not wanting to do stuff doesn't really justify you outright lying to him and deluding him into thinking he's going to be on the report. I think doing this is even more objectionable than just being lazy.

I agree with other advice nlsherrill has given, though.
 

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