We all love working on our assignments independently without having to carry other people on your shoulders in the name of group work. You get your time, go to the library and work out your assignment with a lot of ease. However, today, most assignments are given as group work.
Group work can be an uncomfortable memory on campus where you are stuck in a group and have to work with other people.
Group work has massive benefits, though. While independent work allows students to work through topics on their own as well as practicing self-control and anti-procrastination methods, group work and activities push for collaboration and active listening skills. By sharing knowledge and tools, the endgame of a project can radically change.
You will definitely have your fare share of bad and good group projects. However, you can position yourself well to get the most out of group work without having to want to kill yourself. Here are my group project tips for college that will help you survive, and even thrive, as part of a group.
Tip 1: Communication is Key
Communication is the key to success in a group project. It isn’t just about establishing a WhatsApp group for the members and loosely creating a deadline. While WhatsApp groups and deadlines are important, communication is about talking about what you want the end project to look like. You’re responsible for your project, and it is only natural to want to submit the very best finished product possible.
It’s good to start considering which elements you want to include well ahead of time. If you communicate these ideas early with your group members, you’re setting yourself up for success.
Tip 2: Focus on Productivity
Sometimes, you will be given the gift of selecting your own group members. When this happens, it is very likely that you will want to pair off with friends. However, this can be a disservice to yourself. With the stress of a final grade, friendships aren’t always the best tool to tackling an assignment.
Consider how often your friend submits close to the deadline. Consider your own self in comparison. Sometimes, it can be for the best to expand and work with different people in your class, even if you aren’t close with them.
Tip 3: Divide and Conquer the group work.
When in a difficult group, there is the possibility that you will want to work on the entire project yourself. However, this will come with 3:00am stress breakdowns, bad relations with group mates, and also a final project that is lacking in diverse thoughts and voices. Your final results will fail to encompass other members, and because of that, they won’t achieve the desired results.
The best way to approach this would be to break down the assignment into smaller projects and divide them among the members. Let every member work on an individual area and then compile the final product once done. This is the best sort of compromise one can have during a group work.
Tip 4: Find your fit in the group work.
For Tip number 3 to work perfectly, ensure that you pick a section of the assignment that compliments your strengths and weaknesses. When participating in group work in college, you won’t always have the chance to pick your group members, but you will most likely have the freedom to set your own expectations and roles.
Throughout the course of the project, it’s important to find the fit that allows you to propel your group forward. For instance, maybe you love the research portion of a project and have amazing Google skills. Or maybe you prefer to create the overall design of a presentation.
We all have our strengths, and if you can find an area where you can use yours? You’ve found the sweet spot.
Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to confront group members.
There may be a lot of us out there – myself included – that are afraid of stepping on toes. Although we may be sparing people’s feelings, withholding our opinions or concerns can eventually put the group at a disadvantage.
If you feel that you have something worthwhile to share, jump in and be honest. Don’t hold back just because you’re worried about what someone else might think. Starting the initial conversation and letting others know your thoughts will eventually lead to better ideas, more effective collaboration, and happier group members. Don’t be shy — make your voice heard!