If you’re assigned a group project or assignment for a particular course, look at the big picture: group assignments are an opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills – skills future employers find highly desirable!
Know your team
- Learn about everyone (expectations, strengths, pet peeves).
- If you get to choose your group: choose wisely.
- Share expectations and finalize guidelines about group attendance, punctuality, preparation, etc.
- Openly discuss your skills – research, ideation, writing, formatting, referencing, presentation, etc.
- Be inclusive and treat each other with respect and courtesy.
Distribute tasks and be accountable
- Make sure you all understand the assignment.
- Analyze the topic and the time commitments involved with each step.
- Divide tasks together, taking into account what you’ve learned about everyone’s strengths, and schedules.
Create a timeline and stick to it
- Be sure to schedule “check-ins” (soft deadlines) and communicate consistently with all members.
- Try using project planning software to track task statuses.
Communicate, collaborate and develop conflict resolution strategies
- Have meetings over Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, WhatsApp or any other messenger.
- Use collaboration tools such as Google Drive that allow multiple users to work together on the same file or Dropbox that can provide cloud storage for all your group assignment documents.
- Develop a strategy to deal with conflict: will you discuss differences, get an outsider’s opinion, or decide via majority voting? At what point in the conflict resolution strategy may you need to get your professor involved?