The following is an almost literal transcript of a conversation I recently had with a student whose name was not James. I think it shows what often happens when students write in groups.
James: I received a fail mark for the report, while I thought I had done a really good job.
Bob: Oh dear! And what about the rest of your group?
James: They all failed too. Could you tell me what went wrong?
Bob: Of course! I think the problem is Chapter 5, “Concept Generation”.
James: What’s wrong with it?
Bob: Well, let me ask you this. What did you think about its quality?
James: I don’t know. I didn’t write Chapter 5.
Bob: I know you didn’t. And neither did anybody else.
James: Ah …
Bob: And there is another thing. Did you notice that Chapter 4 consists of illustrations only?
James: Ehhh … not really, no. I wrote Chapter 7 you see …
Bob: I do see! And what a wonderful chapter it is. If only the assignment had been to write one chapter each, eh? You would have nailed it!
(Oh, I almost actually said that last bit …) 😉