Hello! My name is Hannah and I'm currently a second year student studying Biomedical Science, besides my course I enjoy crochet, reading and musical theatre!
Group work can be seen as daunting, you’re often working with people you’ve never met before, having to put your trust in them to ensure you do the best you can to get the grade you deserve. However, this article will highlight the positives of the opportunity and give you some tips to succeed!
Make New Friends
Group projects are a fantastic way to interact with new coursemates and make new friends. With the majority of the last academic year being completely online, many collaborative opportunities have been missed and it can be difficult to meet new people on your course authentically. Therefore, group projects enable you to not feel so alone and interact with others who are in a similar place to you. Use this as an opportunity to hang out and get to know new friends to sit with during lectures and to rely on in deadline season!
Play to Your Strengths
Succeeding in a group is all about playing to your strengths, my first tip, after getting to know each other and getting comfortable working together, would be to all state your strengths (and weaknesses!). By doing this at the start of your project, it means everyone can be allocated tasks they can do well, giving your group the best chance of success! It further reduces stress, since no one will be doing something they have no confidence in, whilst also pointing out who you can go to for help if you’re struggling with something they can do well! By creating a plan and delegating tasks, everyone has an equal workload and you know your project will get completed in time.
Enforce Equal Workloads
Another tip would be to allocate work evenly and all stay in constant contact throughout the project, this could be in a group chat, Microsoft team or on a joint google document. This way everyone knows what each other is doing and allows you to know if you’re staying on track to be done by the deadline. As well as this, meeting up once a week further enables you to work on the project in person, allowing members to help in areas where others are struggling, rededicate tasks and plan as a team what your next direction is.
Reach Out and Offer Help
If you are struggling with the workload in group projects, such as someone consistently missing deadlines without excuse or not pulling their weight in the team, this doesn’t mean you should suffer the consequences. First, try talking to them to see if there’s anything you can help with. It could be that they’re really struggling with the work they’ve been given and don’t understand it as much as someone else in the group. This allows you to swap out and ensure everyone is comfortable! However, if situations don’t improve, speak to your module leader and see if they can help resolve the issue, or at least be aware of what is going on.
Finally, group projects are a fantastic form of life experience that enables you to broaden your horizons by collaborating with people of all different backgrounds outside of your usual friendship circle. It gives you a new opportunity for your CV and provides a great taste of what life may be like after university!