I’m probably the only one, but I happen to love group projects, and I’ll take them any day over tests. However, they aren’t everyone’s favorite type of assignment. Relying on other people is hard if they’re people you’ve never met before or don’t exactly trust with your grade. Group projects can be easily mastered and conquered with my tips!
Receive Everyone’s Contact Information
The minute you get assigned groups, start exchanging all of your contact information with your other group members. Communication is key in these type of projects, and if you’re not constantly updating each other on the status of the assignment, there may be some confusion or the assignment just won’t get done. Facebook Messenger usually works well for me as well as just making a GroupMe for the assignment. Also get everyone’s email address and phone number just in case something goes wrong with group messages.
Create A Plan
Once you have the due date of the project, start making a schedule of what all needs to be done and who is doing what. This way no one is confused about what has to be completed by a certain deadline. Set personal deadlines as well to move things along faster and everyone gets their work done with time to spare.
Understand Everyone’s Skillset
If you were assigned to a random group, you can have some very different people surrounding you. Get to know them and why they’re in that class! They could have a useful skillset you may not even know about that could benefit the project. I’m personally a really creative-thinker, so when it comes to designing poster boards or a sign, I’m the girl to go to. While someone else may be really good at explaining information in a clear way or be a good speaker. Getting to know these traits about your group members could really change the direction of your project and make it easier!
Take In Everyone’s Ideas
I hate group projects because I’m very independent. I want things done a certain way and I don’t like counting on other people. As much as you may not want to or agree, listen to everyone’s ideas. They could be better than your own! I had to work on a presentation with a bunch of group members and everyone had so many great ideas to throw into the mix that I was sad we couldn’t use them all, and I personally didn’t think anyone would have ideas better than mine, but they did!
Assign Each Part Equally
Everyone should have an equal part in the assignment no matter what. I think it’s super unfair to dump all the work on one person, practically making them in charge of 4-6 peoples’ grades. Plus they have a life too! I shouldn’t be sitting on my butt while someone else is stressing over an assignment that I could be helping with. Find a way where everyone gets an equal slice of the group project pie!
Depending on when the project is due, communicate frequently. Ask everyone how their parts are going and if they need any help. I was working on a presentation last semester with twelve other people. We communicated pretty frequently, but one person was having so much trouble and wouldn’t say anything in the group until THE DAY BEFORE IT WAS DUE. Eventually, we got it all worked out, but not without lots of stress and anger and tears. Talk to people, ask them to send them what you have so you all can collaborate better!
Speak Up If Something Isn’t Working
Don’t like how something in the project is going? Say something! Let people know you aren’t satisfied and work out the issue. I remember I wasn’t satisfied with the font choice that someone used in a power point because it was so hard to read! I didn’t want to get points taken off if our class couldn’t understand what our project was saying. So I politely asked that member if they could change the font, and they did no problem! As long as you’re respectful and make a valid point, people shouldn’t get upset if you’re trying to help them succeed.
Ask For Help If You Need It
Are you struggling with your part? Ask for help! Let people know you’re having a hard time. Believe me, they want you to succeed as much as you do. See if someone can help you work on it during some free time or after class, or have them take a look at what you have so far. Getting a second pair of eyes to look at it helps to make sure you didn’t miss anything!
Settle Disagreements Immediately
Ah, the group project fights. There’s always one if not many. As soon as one arises, fix it immediately. Some fights get so bad that the project never gets done! Just remember, It’s all about the project, and most likely you’ll never have to work with these people again. Try to understand the conflict and work on finding a solution or try to settle on an agreement so that the project can move along.
Don’t Be Afraid To Step Up
It’s always weird to “elect” a group leader for a group project. It should be a group effort so there shouldn’t have to be a leader, right? If something isn’t getting done or no one is taking charge, don’t be afraid to step up to the plate. This is your grade as well, and it’s important that you do well! Don’t take over the project completely, but also don’t just sit back and say nothing if you disagree with how the process is going.
Review The Project
At last, it’s ALL DONE. Now review it again and again. With several people working on one assignment, there’s bound to be some consistency errors. Make sure to proofread everything and that everything on the assignment rubric is covered. Looking over an assignment one more time usually isn’t a bad thing, and can make sure your grade doesn’t suffer because of a few minor mistakes.
How do you get group projects done? Leave a comment below!