In universities, group projects are very common. With this comes the headache of dealing with the free rider, a student group member who contributes less or nothing to complete an assignment with his group, but enjoys the chunk of overall grade that his or her group members work hard to acquire. Another common term to describe a free rider is slacker. Now these free riders do not carry the same personality type. They are actually different from one another. So it can be hard for you to identify one initially. But no worries! Today, here you will learn about each one of them. Therefore, you will be able to program yourself to become alert about them in the class.
Domineering: It is the type of free rider who tends to come off bossy in the beginning. He pushes his ideas onto everyone in the group. However, when the time for action comes he disappears. One important thing you much remember is that this type of free riders is talkative and shows seriousness by coming up with dates and time for the group meetings. Unfortunately, he will be the only one who will not show up or come late to them.
Passive: This free rider does not talk much during the first group meeting. He listens and makes notes of what others say but often seem unable to come up with any idea at all. If emailed or called he does not really respond. In the middle of the semester he will be missing. However, at the last moment he will contact and say that he was unable to respond because of a problem he had at home. This person does not usually contribute to the group project and often can use emotional blackmailing so the group does his part of the work and he gets a fair grade on it.
Hard working: This free rider is always present at the group meetings. His promptness is hard to ignore. He is even quick to finish his part of the project. But once it is examined multiple faults can be found which he simply does not wish to change because he does not know how to do it. Some mistakes this free rider does is copying and pasting a good portion of a paragraph or entire story from an online source without any citation or anything. This problem is often seen international students who know very little about plagiarism. So the group editor has to redo his work.
Missing: This is the free rider whom no one in the group has ever met simply because he is not always present in the class and makes no effort to contact any group member at all. Now you must be wondering as to how he ends up getting added to your group. The answer lies in the fact that when professors randomly arrange groups these free riders often are included in the list.
Flirty: This often is seen in a male student. When he does not wish to do any work he tricks a female group member to do it on his behalf by flirting with her. This flirting can take place even in front of other members during a meeting. Also he usually avoids getting contact information from all others, but makes sure that he knows even the street address of his female target to whom he might seem sweet and yet pushy. However, the flattery and other charming words compel her to do the work for him.
Now you must be wondering how to solve the problem that a free rider usually create in a group. The solution is actually in your hand. Keep your professor updated about this bug as much as you can. Only then he will not be able to enjoy the a share of the grade that your group works hard to get.