Students have already considered group projects to be one of the most difficult parts of their curriculum. Now that the pandemic is still ongoing, it has become much harder for them, since they cannot meet in person as easily as before.
However, this does not mean that online group projects cannot be successfully finished, it is just a matter of knowing how to do it. Here are some tips on how to get through an online group project successfully:
Assign a Leader
Like any group project, there should be someone assigned to be the leader of the group.
That leader will be in charge of coordinating every member and appointing them what their responsibilities will be. The leader should also set up the meeting as soon as possible for discussion regarding the project.
Everyone should meet up at least once or twice a week to talk about any updates on the said project. Suppose a member fails to keep up with his/her responsibilities, it is the leader’s job to talk to that member and see if there are any incompatibilities between that member and his assigned job.
When selecting a group leader, make sure that they are sociable and responsible. However, don’t force someone to lead. As much as possible, the decision of who should be the leader must be made by the whole group and must also be accepted by the individual.
Come up With a Communication Plan
One good thing about being online is how easy it will be to communicate.
It is highly recommended to choose one communication platform for the entire duration of your group project. This is much more convenient, especially when you are sharing various files because it makes all of these more accessible.
The good news is that there are now plenty of communication platforms that students can use such as Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, and Facetime.
A communication plan is very important because not only does it detail what platform you will be using for your group project but also the schedule of your meetings. Creating this at the beginning of your group project will avoid schedule conflicts which might cause the members to miss out.
Delegate Task Accordingly
Remember, people have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to doing certain things. Assigning someone who is strong at a specific task will yield a better and faster result.
Tasks should be distributed evenly among members. At the same time, it should be delegated to members who have the right skillset for it. For example, if you have a member with artistic talents and your group project requires creative design, then assigning the task to that member is a no-brainer.
It’s recommended for the group leader to be the one to facilitate the task distribution. They should also listen to the comments and opinions of the members and try to use them as a consideration when assigning tasks to someone.
Set a Deadline
Now that the tasks are assigned to each of the members, the next thing to do is decide on the deadline for each task.
Without a deadline, members could forget their responsibilities, and in the end, the group project won’t be finished at all.
When it comes to assigning a deadline for specific tasks, make sure that the deadline is fair since some tasks are bound to be more difficult than others.
Put in mind that the deadline set for the tasks should have at least a few days of “cushion” before the final project deadline. This is to ensure that any corrections or any problems about the project can be resolved before the real deadline.
Report Members Who are Not Cooperating
Do not be afraid of being labelled as a “tattletale”. You should contact your teacher about your groupmate who is not helping because, at the end of the day, your success depends on the full cooperation of all your members.
Once you report someone, be sure to ask your teacher for any advice on your next step. There is a chance that your groupmate will be assigned to another group, or perhaps that groupmate will be reprimanded.
Anyhow, you need to know what your options are in regards to your group project.
Online group projects are indeed difficult and may even feel like it is close to impossible to finish, but with the right kind of mindset, you and your groupmates can finish them. You will just need to cooperate with one another and make sure that your communication is always on point.
It may take some time before you and your fellow group mates can work hand in hand, but later on, you will be able to establish a sense of cooperation.
Remember that the group projects you have now in school will be closely similar to those you will have when you start working; perhaps even harder because the deadlines are a lot more serious.
School projects may seem like something you do just for your grades, but in reality, it is preparing you for your career!