Group projects are already one of the curriculum components that students find to be the most challenging. Some students prefer working alone on their projects so they find group projects to be difficult and even abhorrent for many reasons. However, since collaboration is one of the key components that students need to learn and put into action, working in groups will have to stay. However, this proved to be challenging at the height of the global pandemic. With learning transitioning to an online or hybrid setup, there may be more trials in making use of group projects. For one, students may not be able to meet in person just as easily as they did before.
However, this doesn’t mean that teachers will stop giving group projects for students to complete together. Instead, they have moved to means that match the ongoing path of education which is online. This, on the surface, may even sound more challenging. Even so, completing online group assignments successfully is still possible; you simply need to know how to go about it. In this article, we have gathered some tips that may help you complete your group projects successfully even when it’s done online.
As with any group project, there should be an assigned leader of the group. Though some students prefer the term “facilitator” to lessen the burden of becoming the “leader” of the group, as sometimes this tie into doing every single task for the group. In this scenario, however, this leader will be in charge of overseeing each member and assigning them to certain tasks. The meeting for discussing the project should also be scheduled as soon as possible by the leader.
After the leader has assigned every member of the group their tasks, the leader is also in charge of communicating with the group for updates on their share of the projects. They can set up a meeting with the group at least once or twice a week to talk about everyone’s progress. If a member fails to do their responsibilities, it’s also up to the leader to talk with the member and come up with solutions to help the member complete their tasks. They may find that the member may be incompatible with the task given to them. If so, it’s also their responsibility to find that member a share in the project wherein they can be effective.
Make sure the person chosen to be the group leader is friendly and accountable. They should also have a sense of responsibility and a gift of making people be at ease. However, it’s also wrong to force someone into a position. As much as possible, the group as a whole and the individual in question must decide who will serve as the group’s leader.
Something that may come up as a surprise would be that doing a project online can be easier in terms of communication. Hear me out. When doing group projects face-to-face, there will be instances of conflicts in schedule or conflicts as to where to meet up. But with online projects, you can communicate easily by, well, doing it online.
It is strongly advised that you stick with one communication channel for the life of your group project. This is much more practical, particularly when sharing multiple files because it makes everything more easily accessible. Good thing as well since there is a plethora of communication platforms available now such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, and Skype. Not to mention social media platforms that can also be used for communication like Facebook, WhatsApp, and more.
A communication strategy is crucial since it outlines your meeting schedule as well as the platform you will utilize for your group project. By establishing this at the outset of your group project, you may minimize scheduling conflicts that could result in members missing out.
Keep in mind that everyone has their own skills and weaknesses when it comes to doing particular tasks. Giving a task to someone who excels at a specific task will result in a better and quicker outcome. Additionally, tasks should be evenly given out to each member. And at the same time, should be given to members who have the right skills for it.
If you have a member that excels in the arts and your project requires a creative design, you have to give them that task to do. It is advised that the group leader facilitate the assignment of tasks. When appointing someone to a task, they should also pay attention to the members’ feedback and strive to take it into account.
Determining the deadline for each work is the next step after assigning the assignments to each member. Without a deadline, team members can neglect their responsibilities, which would result in the group project never being completed at all.
Make sure the deadline is reasonable when deciding on a deadline for a certain activity because some projects will inevitably be harder to complete than others. Keep in mind that the task deadlines should be established at least a few days before the project’s final deadline. Call it a safety net, since you never know if the task may need some tweaking. At least, there would be a leeway of time for the project to come together.
In every group project, the members’ greatest fear would be that they will have a member or even more not do their assigned task. And this happens often, unfortunately. Do not be concerned about being called a “telltale.” Your group’s success ultimately depends on everyone’s complete cooperation, so you should speak with your teacher about your groupmate who is not contributing.
If you find it daunting to speak with your teacher, you can raise this issue with the group’s leader first. In any way, you have to raise the issue. Once you report someone though, make sure to ask for advice on your next step and how you can resolve the issue. It’s possible that your groupmate will be moved to another group or that they’ll receive a warning. Ultimately, you need to know what options you may have regarding the project.
Online group projects can be challenging and even seem nearly impossible to complete, but with the appropriate attitude, you and your groupmates can complete them. Simply work together as a team and make sure your communication is clear at all times. It could take some time before you and your group members can collaborate, but you will eventually be able to forge a bond of trust.
Keep in mind that the group projects you are working on now in school will be quite similar to the ones you will have when you start working, possibly even more challenging due to the much stricter deadlines. Although completing schoolwork may seem like something you do purely for the sake of your grades, it actually helps you prepare for the future.
FamilyTutor is an established home tuition agency in Singapore! We match suitable home tutors for our clients not just to improve the students' academic grades, but also to build a strong rapport and meaningful relationship with the students and even the their whole family. FamilyTutor put every student in good hands!
If you need an excellent home tutor, feel free to call/WhatsApp us at +65 8777-2168! Our matching service is free!