Preparing group assignments is an obligatory activity you have to take part in on your way to graduation. Its success depends on the particular student, their motivation, their overall academic performance level, and their ability to work in a team. So it may be easy and fun for one student and excruciating for another. Besides, if the team is uneven in terms of motivation and effort they are willing to put into the assignment, there are a lot of things that can and probably will go wrong. Plus, the severity of the problem can vary from the vision or idea lacking one team member’s support to failing to meet the deadline because of a lack of organization. Nonetheless, you cannot avoid group projects, so here are our tips on how to handle it.
Why you are in it at all
There are many benefits of group projects for teachers, the education process, and, finally, the students. Not only do such assignments improve your research and learning skills just like individual tasks, but they also enhance your creativity and soft skills. There is usually a lot more than just learning and understanding the topic. You need to collaborate with a team, contribute equally, and present the results of your activity in an engaging way. Thus, you learn to socialize, manage responsibilities, and think outside the box. Plus, it is an opportunity to get to know your classmates better and establish a friendship with them. Or start to hate them. One or the other.
Who reports to whom
There are different ways a teacher may decide to distribute group projects. It is either up to the tutor or to the groups to choose who works with whom. Obviously, it is better if you can personally pick the people you want to work with, but sometimes it is up to the tutor. One of the challenges you face as a group is management. There are two extremes: the whole group can consist of bright personalities with a specific vision of what they want the results to be, or all the members of the team can be passive and thus fail to take the initiative. In both instances, it is hard to organize productive work and sometimes you might need professional assignment help. It is best if the group has a moderator who can listen to everyone and make sure all are contributing equally. If you feel confident enough to take such a role, go for it. If you don’t, focus on your area of responsibility.
The most problematic thing about group projects is that some members do more than others. As a result of unequal contributions, the project may fail, even though some students did their best. On the other hand, the project may turn out to be good, ensuring a positive group assessment even for those who didn’t work very hard, which isn’t quite fair for those who put in significant effort. Nonetheless, one thing about this chaotic process that you can control is your own area of responsibility, so focus on that, and expect the same from the others. Such a positive attitude, if shared by everyone, is the key to the project’s success. However, if you see that nobody else is putting in equal effort, it may be tempting to do more than your fair share, which is not the best option, as it may possibly go unappreciated and cause you frustration in the end.
When it all falls apart
Evidently, the scenario in which everyone puts the exact same amount of effort into the group project is quite idealistic, and it doesn’t work this way in real life. There can be different circumstances and different motivations for students, which is why the project may appear to fall apart at some point. In this case, the main thing to avoid is pointing fingers and blaming your teammates for the problems. While this practice may not solve the problem, at least it won’t escalate it. If you’re a hardworking team member, try approaching your group to figure out why it isn’t working for them. There is no guarantee that they will immediately improve, but it will increase the chances of completing the project somehow. If you cannot manage your contribution yourself, keep in touch with the group and acknowledge the troubles you face.