Even though group projects in college might be excruciating, they can be advantageous in the long term because they closely resemble the dynamics of being part of a committee, task force, or other group seen in the majority of jobs.
Whatever the format of your course’s group projects, having the chance to collaborate instead of working alone can have clear advantages such as:
Enhanced performance and productivity: When teams collaborate well, they may accomplish far more than when individuals work alone. Practical tasks allow for the application of a wider range of skills, and the exchanging and discussion of ideas can be crucial in developing your understanding of a particular subject.
Skills development: Participating in a team can help you hone your communication and listening skills as well as teamwork abilities like leadership and the ability to inspire others. All of these abilities are of value in the industry, and some of them will be helpful throughout your academic career.
Knowing yourself better: Working with others will help you recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, you might be a better leader than listener or good at coming up with the “big idea”, but not so good at formulating a detailed plan of action. A greater sense of self-awareness will benefit your learning style and be crucial when you enter the workforce.
Stages of Group Work
If you want to make sure that your group gets off on a good note, it can be helpful to;
- Give everyone a chance to introduce themselves, outlining their names, backgrounds, and particular abilities.
- Decide who will lead the group at that project meeting or for the overall project group by voting for or against candidates.
- Exchange names, phone numbers, and other contact information, such as email addresses. You can create a group on any social media platform where you guys can interact with each other
Disclosing Objectives and Tasks
Once you and the other group members have a basic understanding of the task at hand, make sure everyone is aware of what needs to be done. For instance,
- Ensure that every group member has an understanding of what the assignment is all about; brainstorming together helps to build a shared concept of the entire assignment.
- Ensure everyone is on the same schedule by making known the date when the assignment would be due.
- Talk about how you’re going to accomplish the assignment’s requirements specifically.
- Think about the following questions together; How much do you already know about this subject? How simple or difficult would it be to find reliable information? Does everyone find the subject interesting? (If it is not fascinating to some, they may not be inspired to work as hard on a topic they found intriguing.) Can you do a good job on this topic in the time available? Using the resources at our disposal?
Organizing and Getting Ready
Your team should decide exactly what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and who should do what at this point. Take note of the following:
- Break the project down into individual tasks and select which tasks or subtasks each person is in charge of. Make sure that everyone in the group is does an equal amount of work.
- Set deadlines for each task.
- Create methods for communication, schedule regular meetings, and report progress (and/or roadblocks).
You must keep your group’s feeling of purpose intact as they journey to complete the tasks at hand. Effective group communication is essential, especially when the activity lasts for a while. Here are some pointers that encourage effective communication.
- Communicate frequently and periodically report your progress.
- Work together to try to find a solution if someone is having problems finishing the task that falls under his or her purview. Be encouraging and accommodating, but avoid offering to do other people’s task.
- Make it obvious that everyone’s contribution is necessary for the group’s success; it is unacceptable for one individual to arrive up at the last minute without having finished their contribution. It is not acceptable for one person to show up at the last minute without having completed theirs.
Creating the Project Report
If the write up for each section is to be shared among group members, you will need to designate a member to put the whole thing together.
To guarantee that the final product is well-structured and logically arranged, diligent copyediting at this stage is crucial, thus it is preferable to choose the member of your group who is the best writer. The following questions should be answered on submission on each component parts;
- Have all the writers employed the same writing style [tense/voice/person]?
- Are the changes between the various sections seamless?
- Do the references to sources, acronyms, and non-textual elements (charts, graphs, tables, etc.) follow a similar style?
If the answer to these questions are positive the compilation can begin, but if there is any inconsistencies the errors should be corrected.
At the very end, make sure to provide enough time to put everything together and confirm that it has been finished. Decide who will do what before the presentation [that’s if a presentation is required], and allow everyone enough time to practice beforehand [ideally together]. You must now pay close attention to detail, complete any outstanding tasks, and do a comprehensive project evaluation rather than just focusing on your own contributions.