As a university student, how should I deal with students in our group who barely do any work, albeit they study a lot to get good grades in their exams?

We've talked to them, but they are convinced they are actually doing stuff (but most times, when we do face-to-face work, all they do is to sit there awaiting for the project to be completed).
When we're not doing face-to-face work, they simply slack.

Should I let the professor know? Quit the group by my own whilst handling my own version of the project? Or what should I do?

  • 1
    Is it a mandatory part of the course and is there someone in charge of the group? Mar 30, 2017 at 15:42
  • @NathanaelFarley yes and yes (the professor manages the groups)
    – ahoi
    Mar 30, 2017 at 16:29
  • 1
    Is there a member of the group who is in charge, or is the professor (whom I assume is the one who will mark the project) in charge? Mar 30, 2017 at 16:34
  • @NathanaelFarley all group members have equal authority, the professor will mark the project result indeed
    – ahoi
    Mar 30, 2017 at 20:40
  • Kick them out of the group.
    – JeffE
    Mar 31, 2017 at 1:08

1 Answer 1


There are basically 3 options I can personally see:

  1. Do nothing

Normally with this kind of assessment there is some scaling of marks based on effort/share of the work. If the professor has indicated that, I would personally do nothing.

  1. Talk to the professor

If you are still concerned about the group effort, talk to your professor about it. It's likely this activity is designed to help you navigate group dynamics and your professor will likely be all too happy to help you learn.

  1. Talk privately/one to one with the 'offending' party

If you feel that neither 1 or 2 is appropriate, try talking to them directly. Try not to confront them. Instead, look for reasons they may not be contributing as much. Perhaps they feel unable to contribute. Listen to them. If they feel they are already contributing​ enough or that everything is 'done', maybe suggest additional things they can do. The main thing to remember is to try and persuade and listen rather than accuse.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .