Student Presentations Waste our Time, Money

web_malachi_bontragerI detest group projects. It is not that I dislike spending time with people, but the idea of grouping up with two or three people, figuring out a topic that interests all of these people, working at the same pace as these people, making deadlines, pulling equal weight, and trying to come out with a good product is just exhausting.

The most frustrating part of group projects is listening to group presentations in class. I usually think about skipping class when I know that the period will be full of student presentations. Often I decide that missing these classes to get more sleep or do practically anything is worth missing out on watching students shift from one foot to the other and talk about concepts that could have been explained much better by the professor. Even when I do choose to attend these mundane energy suckers, I immediately lose interest and try to find the best way to waste time quietly without the professor noticing. As I look around the room, I see the boredom written across most of the faces in the class. This boredom that arises from listening to amateur speakers talk about concepts over their head weighs heavily on everyone. Heck, I get bored by my own presentations. Not only is it a waste of my time to listen to my peers talk about issues on which they are not experts, it is a waste of money to go to a class where I am not being lectured by a professor who was hired specifically to teach the class. It is a waste of money when professors delegate to students.

I understand that in the future, when I am out of school and in a real job, I will be required at times to work on group projects that do not interest me and that I will be working with people that I do not chose to be with. But I did not come to college to be taught about how to deal with people who slack off and or people who take things way too seriously. I came to school to learn about the course material, not how to work with a group. I am ready to leave the hidden agenda aspects of learning back in high school. I want to learn about the material from the person who is qualified and designated to teach it: the professor.

The students who attend EMU are paying a lot of money to this institution to be given instruction and education in the career fields that they wish to pursue. They are not paying money to present a hastily prepared power point, put half the class to sleep, and waste whole class periods. These students come to class in order to learn and to be prepared. Professors, please do not waste our time and yours by assigning group presentations or student presentations. Please teach us.

-Malachi Bontrager, Contributing Writer


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