Do group assignments fill you with dread? Taz has some top tips for making sure you ace the next one!
Does the prospect of a group assignment fill you with dread? At some point during your degree course, it is likely that you will be set a group assignment to complete for one of your modules. And whilst there are many students who enjoy group assignments, there are others who find the prospect of meeting deadlines, transferring their skills, and displaying their potential more difficult when working as part of a group. Nonetheless, there are five steps that you can take to ensure that you do as well as possible in these types of assignments, meanwhile ensuring that it is a stress-free experience.
Step 1: Know your group
More often than not, your lecturers will allow you to choose the students in your group. However, be aware that there will be students who may be unable to find a group, or smaller groups that need putting together. You can often check your group structures by searching under the ‘Groups’ tab within your module on Blackboard.
Step 2: Agree on your communication method
A key starting point for a successful group assignment is regular and effective communication between all group members. Once set the project, it is a good idea to decide how you are going to communicate as a group.
This might include
- Facebook messenger
- BB group discussion board
Step 3: Planning
To ensure that you meet the assignment deadline and all aspects of the criteria, it is crucial to plan the assignment as a group. Examples of the types of projects you could be set include:
- Class presentations
- Prezzi presentations
- A website
- Group data analysis
- A video
- A poster or leaflet
It is best to create the plan for your assignment in person and somewhere where you can all focus. Across the University, there are numerous study spaces that you can use for the planning. To save time searching for a room, you also book a room to use in advance via the University’s online booking system.
Step 4: Delegating roles and completing the project
When it comes to assigning roles, you may either decide to complete all parts of the assignment as a group, or to delegate a section to each member. This might depend of the skill strengths of each team member, or the requirements of the task. Regardless, you want to ensure that all members of the group have a fair share of the work load. To help with the completion of the project, you can also use the University’s Life Tools Programme which offers a range of workshop sessions including ‘How to prepare for and give successful academic presentations’.
Step 5: Meeting the submission deadline
The typical completion period for a group assignment is a month. This gives you plenty of time to effectively plan, complete and review the assignment as a group. Likewise, it is a good idea to decide during the planning stage which student will submit the project (if required). It is often the case that, if an electronic submission, only one member of the group will need to submit the assignment via Blackboard.