Problems with Group Projects in College: How to Hack Group Projects
College Group Projects
After successfully preparing for a new semester, now you have to contend with group projects. Certainly, group projects could be quite frustrating, as working with different people is not always easy. There are however inevitable since they are key assessment tools in college.
Per se, you require extensive skills on how to write an assignment for college for you to effectively address problems with group projects in college. Note that some of the reasons why group projects don’t work include different approaches towards work, teamwork, time management, and goal setting.
Failure to address these problems could force you to execute the project with little or no input from the rest of the group members. It is therefore important to explore ways to handle different problems with group projects in college.
It is lucid that the project execution process could also be draining particularly due to the nature of the group assignments. As such, to make group projects a success and less strenuous, you can borrow some of the below tips.
1. Join a Group with Like-Minded People
This should be the first step in group projects and is quite critical. Note that extreme individual differences is one the major reasons why group projects don’t work. As such, where, possible you should put adequate efforts to ensure that you join a group with individuals you share common traits. Such traits include individual’s personalities as well as their views about group work.
It is important to note that it might be impossible to choose your group’s members. In such a case, you should go ahead and make proposals on the expectations of each group member. These expectations should be shaped to enhance smooth coordination and execution. You should as well set your expectations. Personal expectations should focus on what you seek to realize for the group and how to go about it.
2. Brainstorm on Project Execution
This step is quite essential in resolving potential problems with group projects in college. This session should be utilized to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different group members. It is quite essential in helping determine what each individual is well suited for in relation to group roles, communication methods, and personal views about the issue under study.
As such, each member should be accorded the opportunity to air their group project ideas and views, and encouraged to propose the most suitable approaches. You should note members who seem enthusiastic, shy, or disinterested, to help arrive at the right decisions when sharing responsibilities.
Brainstorming should be done immediately after the group gets the assignment to help members become familiar with each other and allow time for necessary adjustments.
3. Establish Group Rules
Ground rules are essential in addressing key problems with group projects in college. Lack of clear rules is a major reason why group projects don’t work. In this, it is essential to come up with clear rules of thumb to guide group conduct and project execution.
These rules should be established through a consultative process, where every member should be allowed to raise their views about each set of rules. This is essential in ensuring that they own the rules. Notably, these rules should focus on areas like group communication, collaboration, and timelines.
Concerning communication, rules should pay attention to issues such as the use of modes like emails or social media and the requirement to have one person speak at a time. Collaboration would look at areas like responsibilities in group research and the quality of sources to be used.
On the other hand, timelines would emphasize measures intended to help members adhere to the set deadlines.
4. Develop Group Goals and Milestones
The group project should be guided by specific goals. Clear goals help avoid different problems with group projects in college. The first step in developing the goals entails sub-dividing the group project into distinctive activities and steps.
You should then go ahead and establish when you want each activity to have been executed. To ensure smooth execution, it is essential to stipulate all the entailed steps. The project should be divided into specific phases that should act as milestones.
The group should then establish measurable goals to evaluate these milestones. These goals should be arrived at through consensus. Importantly, the goals should be realistic and reasonable enough to avoid piling excessive pressure on group members. You should then schedule regular meetings to assess the milestones.
5. Allocate Tasks and Duties
Allocating tasks and duties is essential in avoiding major problems with group projects in college. Note that it has been observed that lack of clarity on individual duties is a key reason why group projects don’t work. As such, it is important to evenly distribute the different tasks.
It is also important to try and allocate tasks based on members’ preferences and abilities. Tasks that appear to be demanding or a little more demanding should be allocated to members exhibiting more interest, and vise-versa.
As well, you must ensure that each member understands their specific tasks and their relationship to those of other members and the project as a whole. This requires you to organize on how to regularly check the progress of each member’s tasks to ascertain whether they are in tandem with the entire work.
6. Communicate Effectively
This is one of the most important elements in curbing problems with group projects in college. Per se, the project requires and seeks to help you develop effective communication skills. Open communication is a requisite, and it is therefore advisable for all group members to share their phone contacts and email addresses. The members should also link via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp.
Communication must be non-biased, inclusive, and open-minded. Note that communication should occur during group meetings as well as outside group activities. This would be important in helping members offer support when and where necessary. Although it should be structured and well regulated, communication should be done freely to allow continuous brainstorming and sharing of ideas.
7. Assess Regularly
You should regularly assess how each member is doing in relation to their tasks. Everyone must be held to account, where members should be offered support where necessary and confronted when there are signs of lack of seriousness. Doing this requires a proper approach to ensure that members do not feel excluded but instead understand and appreciate the importance of proper contribution.
Regular assessment is critical in ensuring that deadlines are observed and that members execute their tasks in the right manner. It is therefore important to create sessions that allow all members to review each member’s progress to help accommodate input that could enrich their contribution.