Dealing with Slackers in College
Classroom Work Groups
COLLEGE STUDENT JOURNAL, JUNE 2009
BY: SCOTT A. MEYER, NICOLE A. SMITH,
MARY A. EIDSNESS, LEAH M. BOGDAN,
BROOKE A. ZACKERY, MICHELLE R.
THOMPSON, MEGHAN R. THOMPSON,
MEGHAN E. SCHOO, ANGELA N. JOHNSON
The purpose of this study was to explore the
presence of slackers in a college classroom work
Also, how students react to slackers, and the
recommendations students would make for working
with slackers in future group projects.
A group member who fails to contribute equally or
equitably to a group task.
Considered to be a deviant group members, the
presence of slackers can be harmful to a group.
Method: Focus Groups
37 Students recruited from an introductory
5 one hour groups
Each group was a team of 3 or 4 members
Voluntary and Confidential
1. What do group members find frustrating about
working with slackers?
2. How do group members deal with slackers?
3. What recommendations would group members
make for dealing with slackers?
Frustration with Slackers
Besides the general lack of participation from
slacker, most participants believe that slackers are
full aware of their dysfunctional behavior.
Participants reported was that slackers make excuses
for their behavior.
When slackers failed to do their share of work, their
lack of motivation affected the group in a negative
Dealing with Slackers
The only option is to do the work for them
Put their name on the group project, because it’s a hassle to
Assign them minor task
Keep them updated with group progress
Recommendation to deal
Clear and direct communications
Address potential slackers early in the project
Give some type of initial warning
Purpose is to “listen, gather information and understand how
people feel or think about an issue, product, service or idea.
Individuals participating in focus groups are valuable sources
of firsthand information.
College students working in classroom work groups
report working with slackers to be frustrating due to
lack of indifference on the slackers part.
Deal with slackers by either ignoring them or include
them in group task.
Confront slackers in future group projects.
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