Group Projects - Bah Humbug!
November 26, 2012
My teachers are fond of group work. And as for me, I love to work in groups. But I’ve come to notice over the past few semesters that not everyone else feels the same way. Many people, as you may know, have had frustrating and terrible experiences—either in school groups or even in a work setting.
I was doing my typical student thing, which is to randomly peruse various databases that I have access to, and I stumbled upon this neat resource from MCPL, Library PressDisplay, which provides photocopy and text versions of newspapers from across the world! Studying a foreign language? Why not read a newspaper from a country whose citizens are native speakers? And while you’re reading, if you get stuck on a word or sentence, you can translate the entire article into English to make sure you’re reading things right.
But back to my groups issue and the article that I found via this database called "Surviving Group Projects" on the 24 Hour Vancouver newspaper from Canada. This article got me to thinking about the subject. I’ve always found people to be fascinating, so of course I naturally enjoy working with others, even if they don’t want to work with me.
I am an enthusiastic proponent of highlighting what other people have to bring to the table on any project—be it a school paper, creating a public relations press kit, or even the typical study group (not quite a group project but they still count).
There are many things we can do to make working with others a fun experience, rather than grueling: set clear goals (be S.M.A.R.T. with your goals), communicate with group members (you can do emails and phone numbers, always good choices, but you can also hangout online, chat through Facebook, or other chat clients), create a clear timeline of when to get things done (be sure to allow time to make the final version sparkle), and finally, support and encourage one another. It’s no fun working with a bah-humbug. Cultivate optimism and care for each of your members’ contributions, and everyone will be motivated to continue to make the project a success.
Good luck on all of your projects as this semester comes to a close!