Once you get to college you almost forget that group projects even exist. That is until of course one of your professors assigns them again and you are taken back to all of those high school memories of your group projects that ended in a disaster.
I will say this, college group projects are much different than high school ones. But that can be a good or a bad thing…
Here are some tips for acing your college group project!
The most important question to ask yourself when your professor assigns a group project is who is going to be in your group.
If you get to choose your group, then choose wisely. Don’t necessarily choose your best friends if you know they won’t be willing to put in the work and help out. Also don’t choose the person that you know is working 3 jobs and taking max credit hours because they probably won’t have time to put in the work.
If you get randomly assigned to a group, try and see how that person acts in class before you have to start the project to get an idea of how the group’s dynamics might work. See who answers questions and knows all the answers vs. the person that’s never came to class, you’ve never seen before, and it’s week 12.
Once you’ve gathered your group together there are a few things you should do:
1. Exchange Contact Information
Make sure yall come up with a way that works well for everyone to communicate throughout the project. If everyone has an iPhone then a simple group chat will work, but if not you can always use the app called GroupMe where you can set up group chats too!
Make sure everyone has each other’s phone numbers so you can get ahold of someone if needed about the project.
2. Assign Roles
Everyone should be assigned a job to do for the project. It can be the researcher, the editor, the writer, the whatever, just make sure everyone has a job! If there are 5 people in your group but there are 7 different things to do then make sure the 2 people who get 2 things to do get one easy and one semi-difficult task. Don’t throw all of the hard work on one person! RUDE!
3. Plan Deadlines
Since everyone is doing a different part of the project you need to set up deadlines and certain dates to check in by to make sure everyone is progressing at the same rate and getting stuff done. Have a check in meeting at the end of every week to see how everyone is doing and to make sure everyone is on track.
I would also suggest setting the finish date a couple days before the actual deadline so that someone can double check everything and make sure all of it is done and complete. This will help you catch any mistakes and gives you enough time to fix them before the turn in date.
4. Be That Person
I know nobody wants to be that person who is always bugging people about the project or checking in frequently and asking questions but let’s face it. Your grade depends on OTHER PEOPLE so if you aren’t checking in on them do you really care????
Don’t be ashamed of checking in and being the leader of the group. Somebodies gotta do it.
5. Stay Positive!
I always add this point at the end of ALL of my tips and tricks because it really is important! I truly believe in the power of the mind! If your mind is positive you will see positive results in whatever you are doing. So please go into this whole group project thing with an open mind and open arms (even though we all know everyone hates them) because there’s no use in being upset about it, that’s not going to get you an A.
One extra little tidbit I wanted to share about group projects is, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Go to your professor if you need clarification on anything or guidance. Hopefully they will help you and not leave you out to dry!
Moral of the story is to accept the fact you have to do a group project, embrace it with open arms, and get it done! They aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be, as long as you are smart about your group and set guidelines and expectations from the beginning!