Since you’ll often be working with others in the real world, college professors like to assign projects in groups. This gives you a chance to put several heads together, learn from each other, and learn how to work well together. These can be some of the hardest projects for those who prefer to work independently. If that is you, here are our tips for getting through the projects and maintaining your GPA.
1. Make assignments early. If everyone knows what they are expected to bring to the table upfront it will be easier to organize things in the end. Set clear expectations and goal deadlines. Recognize the strengths of your team. Often times group projects depend on presentations and it is likely you have someone in your group far more outspoken than the rest.
2. Review the project often. Check in with your classmates on a regular basis to see how they are doing on their portion. Make sure everyone is on the same page and that there are no hold ups. It is a good idea to schedule a check in mid-way through the project. This will help you to see any problems that may be arising and work as a group to remedy them.
3. Meet before the project is due. Set a time to meet to go over the project before it needs to be presented. Make sure you give yourself ample time before it is due to make any changes necessary. It is not recommended that you just come to class early on the day of a presentation. At that point, there is no room to correct mistakes that have been made or to add in valuable suggestions.
4. Don’t be afraid to talk to your Professor. If one of your teammates really dropped the ball, don’t be afraid to approach your professor about this. If you pulled your weight then it is fair that you are compensated for your work and that your slacking team members are not. Try to explain to the professor why you feel you should receive a higher grade than another group member without placing too much blame. Emphasis all the work that you did instead of pointing out work that was left incomplete.
If you really don’t like group work try out an online course. You may still be required to work with other students but it will all be via email or other online sources.