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Group projects. You either love em’ or hate em’. Personally, I am not the biggest fan. But, there are a few things I do to ease the process.
#1 Set up a Clear Objective
What does the group want out of this project? What should be conveyed? How will the group do that? Discuss which direction the group project will take and what can be done to achieve that. Organization and clarity is key. Clear and concise goals lead to better quality work since comprehension is reached.
#2 Divide, Divide, Divide
Unfortunately, not everyone in a group will contribute. This is why it’s vital to divide everything up evenly. Once the project has been divided, open it up to the group and let them claim what section they’ll do. This allows people to choose the section that goes along with their strengths (e.g. research) That way, if someone chooses not to do their part, it is on them, and no one else. The worst thing is to be stuck doing the whole project.
#3 Set “Due Dates”
A project is a gradual process. Slowly, but surely, it will get done. To help move the project to its finished state, set up when each section should be completed. For example, if a film project is assigned, have the intro done by Monday and the outro done by Friday. If the group members don’t provide their section on the due date, give them a soft reminder. Wait a day or two. If they still don’t put in their part when it was supposed to be done, look at #5.
Communication is vital to success in group projects. Members should be there for each other when they run into an obstacle or need assistance. Get their numbers and create a group chat, start an email chain, or if you like talking in “real life,” start a Facetime call or Zoom meeting (at a specific time) in which everyone can focus and work. Talk to one another about the progress everyone has made all throughout the project.
#5 Don’t be Afraid to Talk to the Teacher
If all else fails, don’t think you’re causing a big deal by talking to the teacher. Sometimes, you can’t push them to do their part and it gets exhausting having to basically beg them. If they don’t share things around the due dates the group set up, won’t communicate or negotiate, lazily complete their part (e.g. bad quality), or become disrespectful, you have to say something. There have been many situations where a group member won’t do their part, and I get stuck doing it since I didn’t tell the teacher soon enough and the due date is right around the corner. Once you tell the teacher, there will be zero stress at the last minute and having no choice but completing the other sections. Be formal and respectful when you talk to the teacher. Try not to complain, snitch, throw your members under the bus, or give names.
Here’s a quick example: “Certain members of the group have been __________________________, and I would greatly appreciate a solution to this problem.” See what your teacher can do, but remember to hold your ground. This should only be done if all else fails (think of it as your last resort).
Group projects are an incredible way to build your confidence and leadership skills! Believe it or not, these skills will come very handy in the workplace. I am not saying to be overbearing and controlling, but a group does need a leader for the project to reach its full potential (an A+!)
If group projects isn’t all you’re worried about, GirlSpring has some helpful tips to keep and improve good grades.