How to Work Well on a Group Project
College brings with it several different examples of real life. The whole point of college is to educate you on a particular subject so that you can go on to learn even more about it in the work force. You may notice as a college student that you are required to work on various different group projects as well as individual assignments. This is important because that’s how many career jobs work. You often have to work with a group of people to create a final project. While working within that group, you will have individual elements that you are responsible for. Working in a group can have advantages and disadvantages, largely weighing on the personalities and work ethic of the group members. Below are some tips for working well on a group project and pull your own weight. Even if you haven’t been assigned to work in a group before, you can use these tips for future projects whether related to work, school or even a family event.
- Divide and conquer. Take your assignment or project and divide it into some to-do items. Assign those to the members of the group. Be sure to schedule a time that everyone should have their part done and brought back to the group. Email is your friend if you can’t make it to the next group meeting. That way you aren’t holding up progress for the project and are still doing your part. If everyone agrees on what they are doing, you can easily knock out the project and achieve success.
- Think ahead. If you are giving a presentation or turning in a final written paper, remember to fine tune everything by thinking ahead to the due date. Get together with the entire group to practice if you are presenting material. It’s also important to have everyone meet prior to turning in a written assignment so that everyone knows what the final project looks like. Since this project will affect the grades of multiple people, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to finalize things.
- Be flexible. Sometimes group members won’t be able to meet at a time that works for everyone else, so the group must be flexible. If a group member can’t make it, assign them something and let them know the due date. They can email their work to a point person in the group so that everything stays on schedule. Those that can’t make group meetings should be willing to do their part even if they can’t be there. If you are the one that can’t make it, be sure to stay true to your assignments. Other members of the group will see you as a hard worker if you’re doing your part.
- Be thorough. Make sure when you do your assigned part of a group project, you do it to the best of your ability. Don’t be a slacker that the rest of the group has to pick up after. No one likes to be in a group with a person that won’t do their part. This usually results in other people having to pick up the slack because they don’t want their grade to suffer. You also don’t want to earn a reputation as the person who doesn’t work well in groups. This could lead to you having problems being picked for groups later on.
- Stay focused. When meeting with your group members and doing your personal assignment, it is important to stay on task. Make sure you are constantly familiarizing yourself with the goals of the assignment and fulfilling them. It’s easy to get off track when you’re working so be sure you aren’t completing tasks that are unnecessary. The last thing you want is to turn in a great project that has nothing to do with the assignment that was given.
When working in a group, you can use these tips to make the most of your experience. You will find that working with others for a project can be rewarding and help you forge great friendships. When everyone does their part, you can have something great to present to your teacher for a great grade.
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