Have you ever seen any of the Friday the 13th movies and watched Jason going after every person one by one, then thought to yourself, “I’d rather be one of the victims than do this group project?” because I know I have. When I even start to see my professor mouthing the words “group project,” I want to hop up out of my chair and run away Usain Bolt style. I’ve survived my fair share of projects (armed with a solid set of cheap college textbooks), so here’s advice for anyone who needs help surviving the dreaded group project, too!
1. Get to know your group members
Getting to know your group members is going to set the stage for how the rest of the project will play out. Talk to everyone and get to know them a little better. You want to make sure that everyone in the group feels comfortable working with each other. Another reason I say talk to your group members is because, at this point, you have to learn what every member’s strengths and weaknesses are so you can decide who does what.
2. Delegate Responsibility
In delegating each member’s responsibilities, you have to make sure that whatever task each member has is one that they can complete. This is the stage where you’ll have to deal with the slacker – FORCE them to contribute. When I say force, I am serious, because the slacker will try to give some dumb excuse as to why they can’t do this or that, and they’ll eventually leech off the work of other members.
3. Contact Each Other Frequently
In the midst of a hectic school schedule, it can get pretty easy to forget about your project. You will have to talk to your fellow group members frequently, making sure they give you an update of where they are at in their work. Just sending an email or a text asking “Where you at in this project?” is simple enough because it’ll help keep the group moving forward. Try your best to make sure that no one falls behind.
4. Schedule One Day for Everyone to Meet
Emailing and texting is one thing, but actually getting the whole group together is even better. Having the work in front of you and seeing the group’s progress will help put everything into perspective. Then you can see what still needs to be done, and how close you are to finishing.
Hopefully when all is said and done and the dust settles, you’ll walk away from your group with an A!
Do you have any other tips for surviving group projects?
Featured photo credit: Kennedy Library via photopin cc