Surviving Group Work

Group work. 

The two words that often spark fear in students’ minds.  

Like everything else, it’s that one bad experience that leaves you haunted forever. 

However, there are ways of making the most out of your group assignment. Your group members are after allconnections in your industry. 

It’s also one of the best ways to demonstrate to future employers that you have the skills to work with an assortment of different personalities on one project. 

The skills that you develop in managing and working within groups of varying sizes will develop your leadership, time management and delegation skills. These are all things we see on key selection criteria for job applications.  

You might look at La Trobe’s achie✅e@uni’s page on managing teamwork to give you some ideas for that next team project. 

One of the recommended ways to manage group work is to create a document where it’s clear what’s going on.

Take the one below, for example.  

Breaking down tasks into easy to digest chunks helps to keep everyone on track and on the same page. The document details what each group member will be responsible for. 

However,these roles are just a suggestion. In your group you need to work out who is best/enjoys doing what and go from there. Take Joeseph for example.  

Humanities subjects are known for their expansive reference lists, and Joeseph happens to be very good at them. He has expressed this to the group and together they decided that he will check and make sure everyone’s references are correct. 

As the leader of the group Sami is responsible for ensuring that tasks are being completed on time and everyone is contributing.

Everyone has an equal and defined role in the group.  

I know, it all looks easy on paper.  I once had an experience, where one member didn’t email his piece until the day of the presentation. We had to switch between two PowerPoints because we didn’t have enough time before we presented to put it all together.

But your tutors know this. They can tell when you stand up to present or hand in the assignment who has been pulling their weight. 

They’ve probably been in one of those groups as well.

For this assignment we used one of the above plans as part of our assessment. This enabled us to go to our tutor before class and show how we had broken everything down.

It was incredibly helpful and now in each group project we make one of these plans before we start.  

Group work can be difficult at times but talk to your tutor. They may have other suggestions to help your group along.