No two words on a syllabus elicit more groans in a classroom than these…
*Cue the exasperated sighs.* Group projects don’t necessarily get the popular vote when it comes to assignments, especially if group members are randomly arranged. Nothing is worse than getting stuck with flaky group members who leave you to complete the work solo. However, before you panic at the thought of *gasp* working with other people, we’ve pulled together some of our best advice for surviving that next group project.
Step 1: Gather everyone’s contact info.
As soon as you get your group assignment, get everyone’s contact info – don’t wait! Whether you add each other on Facebook, or create your own project group text, it’s imperative to communicate throughout your project. The last thing you want is to have a group member go MIA just when you need them most…or on the day it’s due.
Step 2: Schedule regular meetings.
Work together to figure out a time that fits in with everyone’s schedule – and be flexible here. Utilize those group messages to discuss when will be the best time to meet up and make sure you block out a substantial amount of time! No group project can get done (well) in a quick 15 minute meeting.
Step 3: Pick a convenient place.
Keep in mind that some of your group members may be coming from off campus or have hectic schedules, so be sure to pick a central spot on campus that everyone knows. The library is always a good start – anywhere with space. Make sure that you pick somewhere that’s conducive for getting work done (aka NOT the dining hall), but where you won’t disturb anyone else.
Step 4: Divide up the responsibilities…and set deadlines.
The main idea behind a group project is, well, working as a group. This means dividing up the work evenly so that everyone does their fair share and no one feels like their taking on the brunt of the project. This can be an awkward conversation, but worth it in the end when you all walk away feeling like you contributed to your final grade. Set clear deadlines so everyone gets their stuff in ahead of time.
Step 5: Finish strong!
Once everyone has completed their area, does your project need to be edited or packaged? Decide who will put the finishing touches on it and plan to share the final product with everyone before it’s submitted. If the project needs to be emailed, submitted, or delivered to your professor, decide who is in charge of that task as well. It would be terrible to work hard on your portion only to find out no one turned it in!
Written by Guest Blogger, Ilana S. of Rutgers U
Do you have any tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments below!