Tips and tricks for mastering that group assignment


Working in a group is a large part of your academic ‘career’. The good news is these sometimes frustrating team situations assist in learning negotiation and communication skills, which all employers are super keen on.

But just because something is good for us doesn’t mean it’s easy to do (yoga anyone?) or that we will automatically enjoy doing it (healthy eating, anyone?). Lucky for you, we have a few tips and tricks to make your group work go as smoothly as the lovely drop into savasana*

1. Set clear objectives
First things first: what do you have to do? Similar to how you ‘unpack your question’ in individual assignments and plan a course of action (if this is news to you, no time like the present to start), figure out a plan of attack early.

2. Set ground rules and communicate effectively
Ever heard the expression, ‘not my zoo, not my monkeys’? Avoid the whole situation turning into a zoo full of unruly monkeys by setting out rules for communication and dealing with issues. Effective communication is key.

3. Build consensus and define roles
Make sure everyone gets a say, so you can figure out who is good at what and allocate roles accordingly. Letting people work to their strengths can only help your grades!

4. Keep records
Who was doing what now? Make sure you record all the important things.

5. Stick to the plan and monitor progress
Make sure your plan is clear and you actually follow it. What’s the point of it otherwise? And monitor your progress so you know you’re on track to that winning grade!

And most importantly, always treat your group members with respect and courtesy. You know, like Grandma would want you to.

You can find further information and help on our Study Smart webpage.

*fancy yoga term for lying on the ground, the one part of yoga everyone is good at.