Written by Tanya Topham, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student
Although group work can be seen as a daunting task, there are many ways to improve your overall experience. Here are the 5 methods that have allowed me to flourish in group work activities.
1. Schedule group meetings in advance and write notes during the meetings
By scheduling your group meetings in advance, members of your group can mark out their calendars, thereby preventing non-attendance at meetings. Scheduling and attending routine meetings can allow you to track how much work has been completed by each group member. Writing notes during group meetings, otherwise known as ‘minutes’, is an effective way to reflect on key points voiced.
2. Know your group members strengths
Knowing the skills of your group members is important when assigning roles. Your group members may have different skills in research, multimedia, essay writing, and proofreading, so it is important to gauge every individual’s skills in the first meeting.
3. Assign roles in advance
By delegating assessment roles in advance, members of the group will be able to begin working on their section of the assignment, thereby potentially avoiding procrastination. Additionally, team members will be able to clarify their assigned section of the assessment well before the assessment due date.
4. Use collaborative tools and encourage group members to voice their concerns
By using collaborative tools, such as co-authoring documents, you may be able to gauge the amount of work each group member has completed. Using co-authoring documents may allow for easier proofreading and drafting, as all members would be able to edit the document. It is also important to encourage group members to voice their queries or concerns, as not addressing such queries and concerns sooner may lead to disarray and procrastination.
5. Set a draft and completion date well before the formal assessment due date
By setting early draft and completion dates, you may be able to avoid ‘cramming’ work. Setting an earlier draft and completion date may give team members ample to alter their work if needed before the formal assessment due date.