Working on group projects can be one of the most frustrating things you will face during your college years. Even if you’re assigned a topic you like, there’s always a good chance you will be stuck with people who, even though they might be nice people, don’t like to contribute their fair share of the work. Next time you’re faced with the task of a group project, there are some things you can do to make sure you don’t end up doing all the work alone.
1. Pick Your Team
If possible, pick your own group. Throughout the first week or two of class, keep an eye on your classmates to find the ones who are studious and good workers. These students usually sit in the first few rows of the classroom, rarely miss a class, and are typically taking notes. You’ll want these people on your team!
2. Organize Meetings
Right away, it’s a good idea to combine schedules and pick a good time for everyone to meet up to work on the project. You don’t have to meet up a million times, but remind everyone that the more productive you are during that first meeting, the less you’ll all have to do later.
3. Assign Tasks
Have everyone pick sections of the project to complete. Figure out what people are best at and share the work evenly. Maybe one person does the research, while the others type out the report, and others put everything into a presentation.
4. Use Google Docs
The best thing about using Google Docs is that it can be shared between everyone at the same time. You can all work on the material together (or even at different locations) all at once and it automatically saves your work. It is not a file you have to send back in forth, but rather available anywhere as long as you have internet access. You can even see who has last made an edit and you can see who is contributing.
Remember, you can’t force everyone to do their work, but chances are if most of your team is doing their part, it’ll motivate everyone to contribute and not be the one to not help.
What tips do you have for successful group projects?