Group projects: a survival guide

During university, you’re likely to run into a few assignments that require group work. There are many benefits to working in a group, such as shared knowledge, relationship building and brainstorming new ideas. However, there can be some difficulties.

Don’t fret though! Griffith University student, Azaria Bell, has some tips on how to make group assignments an effective, drama free experience. These include:

Start with intros

Take the time to get to know your group members. Learn their names, what they’re studying and what they’re passionate about. From here you can discuss your shared goals for the assignment and identify any strengths or weaknesses that each member has. This is a great way to know what sections of the assignment to allocate moving forward.

Set your scope

Decide on the angle you’ll be taking for your assignment. Make sure you reach a conclusion that everyone is happy with by having a discussion and making compromises when necessary. Based on the strengths and weaknesses you identified earlier, have people volunteer to take on different sections of the assignment.

Alternatively, if there’s a lot of indecision, allocate one person to be the group leader. The group leader can be in charge of allocating sections without drama.

If you feel uncomfortable with the work you’ve been given, or if you feel like you’ve been given too much or too little, speak up. Bottling these feelings up and becoming resentful is a large source of arguments in group assignments and they can be easily avoided. When delegating tasks, establish deadlines and due dates for certain sections.

Have weekly meetings

The best way to tackle a group assignment is to have weekly meetings and allocate smaller sections every week. Choose a regular timeslot that works well for everyone to meet up, discuss and evaluate the progress of your assignment.

If physical meetings aren’t possible, use online platforms such as Skype and cloud services such as Dropbox to share work. Based on the group discussion you have in your weekly meeting, allocate further tasks and so on.

When you’re establishing the tasks that need to be finished as well as the deadlines that go with them, try to make sure that your assignment is going to be finished at least a week before the due date. This gives you time to reflect as a group and ensure that everything flows perfectly.

Keep on track

If personal problems do arise, remember that the main goal of this assignment is to get the best grade possible. Ensure that everyone is happy with the work that they’re doing and openly discuss any issues. Always treat your group members with respect and for any issues that can’t be resolved as a group always speak to your tutors.