Group work is an unavoidable and often dreaded part of college courses. However, it does not need to be an ordeal. It can go smoothly and become a rewarding experience if a few basic steps are taken towards making sure your group gets along and works efficiently. The links provided explore various systems and steps, but the main points from most of them can be condensed into:
- Divide and conquer: things go easier if your group quickly decides on who is doing what. Everyone should have a clear role and objectives. Good roles to have are a project leader, who oversees everything, compiles the work appropriately, and make sure everything is getting done on time; and an editor, who is in charge of looking over the finished project and making sure everything is neat, shiny, and understandable before it comes time to turn it in.
- Establish means of communication: the group should have a means of staying in contact. Phone numbers should be exchanged, and barring that, there are many group messaging apps and services available. It should be fairly simple and enormously beneficial to find at least one way everyone can communicate. This will help decide meeting times. In the modern world of the internet, some projects can be done without ever seeing your group members in person, with the proper utilization of web services like Google Docs, group chat, and drop boxes.
- Establish deadlines: make sure everyone is doing their part of the project, and are set to complete it before the due date. This way, if a team member proves to be lagging behind the set deadlines, measures can be taken to ensure the work gets done. The best thing to do is to see if other team members have already completed their work and are available to help. In cases where the team member proves to be consistently absent, unresponsive, and unhelpful, measures can be taken to remove them from the group and allocate the work to the remaining members.