How to Handle Group Projects Online

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Everyone dreads group projects. This is because it is often hard to ensure everyone participates actively. In a physical class setting, it is easier to work in groups. However, in online environments, group work is callous. The common occurrence is that the instructor assigns to perform a group of about four students. The expectation is to produce a group project through the creation of presentation materials like PowerPoints. After reading the requirements, you email every other group member, expecting to start the assignment soon. No one cares to give a reply, so you do all the work by yourself or with one member who responded. This is quite frustrating as the workload is significant, and the grade is the same for all group members.

To avoid such occurrences, here is how you can ensure all members contribute.

Know Each Other

The first task is to bond. Establish a sense of community by asking the group members to write a summary about who they are. The piece should include their strengths and weaknesses. You can also organize a discussion forum, where the group members can chat about current events and other non-school related staff. The bond that people create gives them the commitment to work as they get the team spirit. Through their strengths and weaknesses, assign roles.

Identify the Nature of the Assignment and Delegate

As a group, go through everyone’s understanding of the assignment and understand the requirements and scope. You can then break down the work into sections and assign them to every group member. Ensure they know the tone and writing style to avoid having disjointed work that does not flow. Set deadlines for submission before the class deadline to give you time to correct mistakes.

You can get a shared calendar where you indicate who is completing what assignment and by what date. Alternatively, you can use group collaboration applications and assign tasks and organize timelines the digital way.

Communication

Lack of communication sets the group up for failure right from the start. No one knows what they should contribute, and no one takes the initiative to communicate. There are multiple ways to contact group members. You can have an online forum that your instructor can access, online groups, group emails, etc. When you start working, do not break communication with the group. Frequently reach out to find out how far they are and the challenges they are facing. This helps address upcoming issues earlier on to avoid a build-up situation that affects delivery on the submission date.

Conflict Resolution

When communication fails, conflicts may arise. This is expected, especially when working with large groups, where people have different personalities. Fostering an atmosphere of cooperation where members can express themselves respectfully is key to dealing with conflicts. From the start, make it clear that the group should maintain professional behavior. This means there should be accountability for tasks, positive attitudes, and appropriate language.

Prohibit actions that may cause friction in the group, such as cyberbullying. When conflicts arise, strive to solve them fast, so they do not eat into your working time.

Be Realistic

We all hold ourselves to unrealistic standards at times. Do not transfer such expectations to your group members. Everyone is bound to experience a bad day at some point, which may affect their ability to collaborate effectively. Some people are dealing with difficult situations, and it is essential to understand that. Therefore, expect the project may not proceed as you plan, so you should have strategies in place.

Be ready to step in to help and also ask for help when you need it. Setting group deadlines earlier than the submission deadline helps in such a situation as it gives you a time allowance.

Constant Reviews

Waiting for the final submission date to review all the work is setting the group up for failure. Sometimes group members may not understand their task well, and it only comes out after their first attempt. Constant reviews in the group help identify such occurrences at an early stage. As a group, you can redefine the expectations as you work. For example, you can add bits to the assignments that seem essential. Reviews help identify the missing bits.

Get a Group Leader

It’s often chaotic when everyone tries to lead the group. It creates a situation where everyone is pulling the group in different directions. Therefore, you should select a group leader who will keep the group organized and facilitate collaboration. Group leaders do not make all decisions, but they facilitate an environment where everyone feels heard and their opinion counts. They also facilitate sharing of useful information like order essay service reviews that may help when tackling assignments.

Conclusion

Any group works well as long as they communicate, organize themselves, and have accountability. These three attributes are the center of group projects. It helps a lot when all group members see the end goal from the start to produce quality work. Groups consist of different personalities, which calls for other tactics. For example, a member may work well with minimal supervision, whereas another requires a constant check-in on their progress. Group members must understand one another to work well together.

To avoid such occurrences, here is how you can ensure all members contribute.

Know Each Other

The first task is to bond. Establish a sense of community by asking the group members to write a summary about who they are. The piece should include their strengths and weaknesses. You can also organize a discussion forum, where the group members can chat about current events and other non-school related staff. The bond that people create gives them the commitment to work as they get the team spirit. Through their strengths and weaknesses, assign roles.

Identify the Nature of the Assignment and Delegate

As a group, go through everyone’s understanding of the assignment and understand the requirements and scope. You can then break down the work into sections and assign them to every group member. Ensure they know the tone and writing style to avoid having disjointed work that does not flow. Set deadlines for submission before the class deadline to give you time to correct mistakes.

You can get a shared calendar where you indicate who is completing what assignment and by what date. Alternatively, you can use group collaboration applications and assign tasks and organize timelines the digital way.

Communication

Lack of communication sets the group up for failure right from the start. No one knows what they should contribute, and no one takes the initiative to communicate. There are multiple ways to contact group members. You can have an online forum that your instructor can access, online groups, group emails, etc. When you start working, do not break communication with the group. Frequently reach out to find out how far they are and the challenges they are facing. This helps address upcoming issues earlier on to avoid a build-up situation that affects delivery on the submission date.

Conflict Resolution

When communication fails, conflicts may arise. This is expected, especially when working with large groups, where people have different personalities. Fostering an atmosphere of cooperation where members can express themselves respectfully is key to dealing with conflicts. From the start, make it clear that the group should maintain professional behavior. This means there should be accountability for tasks, positive attitudes, and appropriate language.

Prohibit actions that may cause friction in the group, such as cyberbullying. When conflicts arise, strive to solve them fast, so they do not eat into your working time.

Be Realistic

We all hold ourselves to unrealistic standards at times. Do not transfer such expectations to your group members. Everyone is bound to experience a bad day at some point, which may affect their ability to collaborate effectively. Some people are dealing with difficult situations, and it is essential to understand that. Therefore, expect the project may not proceed as you plan, so you should have strategies in place.

Be ready to step in to help and also ask for help when you need it. Setting group deadlines earlier than the submission deadline helps in such a situation as it gives you a time allowance.

Constant Reviews

Waiting for the final submission date to review all the work is setting the group up for failure. Sometimes group members may not understand their task well, and it only comes out after their first attempt. Constant reviews in the group help identify such occurrences at an early stage. As a group, you can redefine the expectations as you work. For example, you can add bits to the assignments that seem essential. Reviews help identify the missing bits.

Get a Group Leader

It’s often chaotic when everyone tries to lead the group. It creates a situation where everyone is pulling the group in different directions. Therefore, you should select a group leader who will keep the group organized and facilitate collaboration. Group leaders do not make all decisions, but they facilitate an environment where everyone feels heard and their opinion counts. They also facilitate sharing of useful information like order essay service reviews that may help when tackling assignments.

Conclusion

Any group works well as long as they communicate, organize themselves, and have accountability. These three attributes are the center of group projects. It helps a lot when all group members see the end goal from the start to produce quality work. Groups consist of different personalities, which calls for other tactics. For example, a member may work well with minimal supervision, whereas another requires a constant check-in on their progress. Group members must understand one another to work well together.

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Shashank Jain
Shashank Jain, founder of good-name, a young and energetic entrepreneur has always been fond of technology. His liking for technology made him go for engineering in computers. During his studies, he learned & worked on different computer languages & OS including HBCD, Linux, etc. He also has a keen interest in ethical hacking.

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