“I love group work” – said no-one. Ever.Group work.Group project.Group assignment.It doesn’t matter what it’s called, most students recoil at the idea of having to complete group coursework writing at uni for a number of reasons. Sometimes you get to pick your teammates, other times you are sorted into a group of people you’ve never spoken to before and you have to muddle through and get to know one another (whilst trying to complete the work of, course). So how do you get through it? Do you pretend it’s not happening and hope for the best? That might give you peace of mind, but it won’t get you a good grade. The best thing to do is face the facts – group work is rubbish, but you can’t change the fact your tutor has set it. Now you’ve accepted this key point, it’s time to get on with it. We’ve come up with a list of 5 tips to help you through any group project:
- Be prepared to do most of the work
If you prepare to do most of the work yourself, you won’t be disappointed when this actually happens. There will always be at least one person (if you’re lucky!), but usually half the group don’t really do anything. Whether this is because they don’t really care about their grades or because they’re super busy and forgetful, there will always be one person in the group who does the majority of the work. If you plan to take this role on from the beginning, then you’ll have a plan B when someone doesn’t provide the goods on the day of the presentation and you have to sub them with your pre-prepared notes.
- Communication is key
It might sound simple, but trying to get everybody in the group communicating with each other can actually prove fairly tricky. You need to find the best way that each member of the group can communicate. Are some people pro Apple and others team Android? If this is the case, iMessage isn’t the right option for you, so go back to the drawing board. There’ll always be that one person who lives ‘off the grid’ and doesn’t believe in mobile phones, but you might be able to catch them on Facebook messenger every now and then.
- Be as organised as you can
This should go without saying, but the more organised you are, the easier your group project will be. Try not to be overbearing and take over everything; even if you try to do this, it’s really hard to organise people who don’t want to be organised, so the only thing you’ll achieve is a bad reputation for being bossy. Stay on top of your own part of the project as a bare minimum, and if you can, try to formulate some kind of organised plan for the whole group so that you can try to get the project done with minor stress.
- Start early
Tutors tend to give you a decent deadline when it comes to group projects. They are probably taking into account the fact that groups are impossible to organise and trying to find time to meet up is a tedious task. So take advantage of this long deadline and don’t think it means that you can meet up with your group the week before it’s due and it’ll all go swimmingly. Newsflash – it won’t! Start as early as you can, and meet up as often as you can to discuss how everything is going and check on the group’s progress. Try to leave a week or two between finishing the project and the due-date. You all need time to go through it and make sure all your individual sections add together nicely into one concise project. This will also cover you in the event that someone hasn’t done the work as they should have… If you do find that this happens, you can always rely on assignment writing services to help you get the grade you are after.
- Set deadlines
You need to set goal posts from the very beginning of your project. Deadlines are a good thing, trust us! Whether everyone will actually complete all their research by week two and their presentation slides by week 3 is another problem, but trying to keep everyone on track by setting regular and achievable deadlines is important. Without deadlines, no one will know what is going on, who has done what and what needs to be finished off.