How to Conquer Group Projects

Group projects.  We’ve all had them.  Some of us love them because it gives a chance to split the work and not put all the stress on you. Some of us hate them because we get stressed worrying about everybody else doing their part.  I am not a huge fan of group projects, especially now in college. In high school, if somebody didn’t do their part, your teacher knew it and it wouldn’t affect your grade, however, that is not the case now.  I’m going to talk about some ways I deal with group projects because I usually get stressed when it comes to group projects.

Group projects are great way to be able to work with your friends.  If your professor allows you to pick your groups, pick groups with people who you know and are comfortable with.  Think about who is in your group. Make sure you can trust your group members. Sometimes you cannot pick your group and there is really nothing I can suggest about that.  You will have to learn to work with the people in your group.

Now ,when it comes to everybody being assigned their part of the work, assign each person something they are good at.  If you need a poster or a visual aide, assign that to somebody in the group who is creative and good with visual aspects.  If you need a paper written, pick somebody who likes to do research and doesn’t mind writing papers.  Do not just randomly assign the different jobs just to have them assigned.  If you and the other group members are doing something you like or can do well ,it will be smoother for you and for the other members.  If you are doing something you like and are good at, it will put the other group members at ease.

Do not assume that the time you have (if any) in class to work is enough.  Get together with your group.  I know it is tough to work with everyone’s schedule, but not everybody has to be at each get together.  If all of your group but one member can make the meeting, do not cancel just because of that one person.  Meet with the rest of the group and then fill in the absent member.  You can also use Skype or other chat methods.  There are ways to get together and not be inconvenient to anybody in the group.

Lastly, make sure you always have a backup option in case something comes up with one of your group members and they are unable to complete their task.  Having a backup option for all of the work does not mean you do not trust that person, it is just a precaution. Things happen that are uncontrollable and if you have a backup, you will not be running around like a chicken with its head cut off! For example, make sure you e-mail your group members your work.  If you are writing the paper, e-mail it to others.  This allows them to have a copy in case something comes up, but also that gives them a chance to proofread it.  You can kill two birds with one stone.

Whatever you do, do not stress over it so much that your work is affected! Yes it is good to be worried and good to be on your members backs about doing their work, but do not be to over bearing.  You do not want to be that annoying controlling group member!  Happy group projecting!

Audree, student blogger

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