In our previous article, we have tackled the advantages and disadvantages of group work and how students can work around it to make sure they benefit more from it. Students will inevitably be working in groups at school as collaboration is also an important skill they have to learn and develop. A group project is one of the best forms to nurture collaboration between students as it requires students to work together as a team to finish a project together. Usually, in projects, the grade the group gets will also be the grade of each individual member. This will encourage the students to work together to get the best grade possible.
However, many students have no idea what to expect when starting a collaborative project. And while students wish for a project that will go smoothly, in most cases, students may wind up carrying the entire job by themselves. This is not an experience anyone wants to go through. There is nothing more frustrating than having to finish another person’s work just to complete a group project. With different types of people, you will not know exactly what type or who may be part of your group. This article will help you get a headstart by getting to know the type of group mates you may encounter in a group project and how to deal with them for better results.
Every student wishes to have one team member who is reliable and helpful. More often, they are the easiest to find since you may find they are already part of your group. The only problem is that they may not entirely understand what the project is about or what they are doing exactly.
You may find that whatever input they try to raise may be irrelevant to the project itself. Sometimes, they also do something that is unrelated to the project. However, they are also the first to offer help when a team member is having trouble with their share of the work or the one who volunteers to get snacks and drinks for the group. Sometimes, you may feel uneasy leaving them alone to do their own parts. Not because you don’t trust them, but because you don’t trust them but because you never know what to expect from them.
A good way to help with your group mate is to get them to work with you. This means that when you are working with them. You can explain things to them or answer their questions. You don’t have to worry about their work not being what was expected if they understand your instructions. Additionally, they can also learn from you while they are watching you work. Also, remember to be extra patient with them. They may not understand everything at the get-go, but they are trying their best and actually wants to help.
“If you can do it today, what’s stopping you from doing it tomorrow,” may be one of their mottos and this is something they live up to. Of course, every once in a while, students will need time to rest and relax and stop their work for a while. In times like this, they may need the day to relax and do whatever work they have for tomorrow. But if a member deliberately waits until the last moment to do theirs, then they are a notorious procrastinator.
Students working in groups will constantly keep each other updated with their progress and if they are needing any help with their share of the work. But for this type of member, you will not be hearing a lot of updates from them, or even at all. And you may even chase after them for any updates, and you may end up doing this a lot. Expect the slides to only be finished the evening before the presentation, or even not at all. And there’s nothing more painful than rushing to finish the part that wasn’t assigned to you.
The best solution would be to assign them to work that they can easily finish, something that they can do and complete right then and there. If you are making a film, let them be the ones to film or present the work. This way, they can be present in the moment. Additionally, this type of member is usually the one that is quick to think and good at winging it. They may have trouble with finishing assigned work, but they are amazing at spontaneity and you could use that to your group’s advantage.
They are known for not being there. Missing in action is their middle name. You will not often this member’s face or even hear their voice during discussions and brainstorming. This could be because you have never met them and there will be a large possibility you never will.
Strangely enough, despite the fact that they frequently leave your messages on read, they still complete tasks. Your team also questions why they haven’t yet received a failure for absence. Unlike the procrastinator that leaves everything to the last minute, the MIA is just simply missing but still gets work done.
So, when working with members like this, make the effort to get to know them and understand their situation. You may never know; they may have a valid reason why they are always missing. You can also give them an earlier deadline for their tasks, just in case they fail to complete them or when you need to edit their work.
They will usually be the leaders of the group. They are also known to be dictators who are not known to listen to other members’ input. It will either be their way or the highway. However, everyone agrees that there may not be any work done without them. Since they are organized, logical, and very detail-oriented, they also make one of the group’s core members.
The best way to deal with them is to make sure to pitch in. They may not be good at taking in others’ input but there will also be other ideas worth exploring. They will give your group a sense of direction so use that to the group’s advantage. Work closely with them and take on tasks with them. Additionally, you can also nudge them to give credit when credit is due so your other members won’t think they are heartless.
Finally, the member everyone wants in their group. The right-hand man will think a lot like you, works well with you, and might even act like you. They consistently keep up with you and are likely the ones you rely on the most. You have a close relationship with them and frequently rely on them for support. However, be careful not to leave anyone out and make sure to divide the job equally. Don’t merely divide the work among yourselves; assign it to everyone.
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