Listen to a conversation between a student and a professor.
Hey, Jane, you look like you are in a hurry.
Yeah, things are a little crazy.
Oh yeah? What's going on?
Oh, it's nothing.
Well, since it's your class, I guess it's OK.
It's, it's just I am having trouble with my group project.
Ah, yes, due next week.
What's your group doing again?
It's about the United States Supreme Court Decisions.
We are looking at the impact of recent cases on property rights, municipal land use cases, owning disputes.
Right, OK. And it's not going well?
Not really, I'm worried about the other two people in my group.
They are just sitting back, not really doing their fair share of the work and waiting for an A.
It's kind of stressing me out, because we are getting close to the deadline and I feel like I'm doing everything for this project.
Ah, the good old free rider problem.
Ah, it's just a term that describes this situation, when people in the group seek to get the benefits of being in a group without contributing to the work.
Anyway, what exactly do you mean when you say they just sit back?
I mean, they've been filing the weekly progress reports with me.
Yes, but I feel like I'm doing 90% of the work.
I hate to sound so negative here, but honestly, they are taking credit for things they shouldn't be taking credit for.
Like last week in the library, we decided to split up the research into 3 parts and then each of us was supposed to find sources in the library for our parts.
I went off to the stack and found some really good material for my part, but when I got back to our table, they were just goofing off and talking.
So I went and got materials for their sections as well.
Um... you know you shouldn't do that.
I know, but I didn't want to risk the project going down the drain.
I know Teresa and Kevin, I had both of them on other courses.
So, I'm familiar with the work and work habits.
I know, me too. That's why this has really surprised me.
Do you... does your group like your topic?
Well, I think we'd all rather focus on cases that deal with personal liberties, questions about freedom of speech, things like that.
But I chose property rights.
You chose the topic?
Yeah, I thought it would be good for us, all of us to try something new.
Um... maybe that's part of the problem.
Maybe Teresa and Kevin aren't that excited about the topic?
And since you picked it, have you thought... talk to them at all about picking a different topic?
But we've already got all the sources and it's due next week.
We don't have time to start from scratch.
OK, I will let you go cause I know you are so busy.
But you might consider talking to your group about your topic choice.
I will think about it.
Got to run, see you in class.