Tips and Tricks for Surviving Your Group Project
Hey Future King's Students!
Just when you thought you would never have another group project...surprise! Many university classes also feature group projects. A good group can make or break your experience. Nothing is more difficult than trying to work on a group project and stressing over every little detail with your other group members. Here are a few tips and tricks for not only surviving your group project, but making sure you do well on the project too!
1. Choose group members wisely
If your professor lets you pick your group members, make sure you consider all the factors that will be best for you when working on your project. Working with your friends may not be the best scenario if your schedules do not match up or if you have significantly different studying styles. Alternatively, if you do not know anyone in the class, strike up conversations with classmates you think would be good partners for your group project.
2. Figure out the best means of communication
So now that you're in a group and are ready to start your project, you need to figure out how your group is going to communicate with one another. You can use emails, phone calls, Facebook chats or other social media sites. I recommend setting up a Gmail account and using Google documents so that everyone in your group can edit documents. Whatever your group decides, make sure you establish the best way to contact one another and do it regularly.
3. Set check-ins and deadlines
Make sure everyone that is a part of your group is held accountable for contributing to your project, so assign tasks to individuals and make sure everyone is checking in with one another to see where everyone is at. Set deadlines so that your project can be completed on schedule and so everyone can set priorities for what needs to be done. Make sure everything is written down so everyone is accountable for the tasks they have been assigned.
4. Take the lead
Being a team leader on a group project is not necessarily a bad thing, and if you are in a situation where your other group members are not pulling their own weight, this is the perfect opportunity to improve your leadership skills and take control of the situation. This does not mean that you will be the one who does all the work, but you can help your group by making sure everyone is accountable for their part of the work. As a group leader, do not forget to hear people out and listen for potential new ideas that could help make your group project even better!
5. Give a time cushion at the end of the project
Not every group project will run smoothly, so make sure you have some wiggle room for any unexpected and unaccounted for issues. Set an earlier date so that if any issues do occur, you have that extra time to finish your project. Any issues that do arise will be solved by the time the actual due date comes around.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask your professor for help
Just because you have your group members to fall back on for any questions you may have, do not be afraid to go ask your professor to answer those same questions. It shows your professor that you are taking your project seriously and that you care to receive a good grade. If you are having issues with group members, do not be afraid to talk to your professor and ask for help. They can be really understanding!
7. Stay positive
Although group projects can be stressful at times, it is important to note that focusing on the positives rather than the negatives can give you a chance to learn a lot about how you work with others in a group setting and how you could apply it to the real world. Group projects are a good example of what future jobs could entail and gives you a chance on improving your group project interactions with others.
Group project do not need to be scary or stressful. They can be successful and by following some of these tips, you can make sure that your next group project will be one of your best!
All the best!