What is ‘group project’?
A project that requires a team to work together to complete and carries the highest weightage in your module or subject in most cases.
Going into a group project, many of us do not know what to expect. We hope for a smooth sailing project but most of the time, we may end up carrying the entire project on our own. This means to sit tight, buckle up and get ready for a red-bull induced, sleep-deprived, traumatic experience.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Let us discuss what types of group mates are there and how to work with them.
The Confused One
You need a helpful and reliable group member, and you do! Just that… this group mate doesn’t seem to understand what your project is about.
You find that their inputs are also sometimes irrelevant to the project. You feel uneasy leaving them alone to do their parts (not knowing what to expect).
Invite them to work alongside you. This way, you can explain things to them while working, and they can learn while watching! Remember to be patient with them too!
“I’ll do it later” seems to be the motto of this member. During the span of the group project, you never hear many updates coming from them, and you chase them for their work… a lot.
Expect to only see the slides completed the night before the presentation too! Or sometimes, never, and you have to finish it yourself.
So the solution? Assign them work that needs to be done there and then. Let them present, edit or film while on set if you’re in a media field like me. These people are often intelligent and have the ability to think on their feet, so let them wing it at the moment.
The Holy Ghost
Missing In Action (MIA). This is what they are best known for. You often don’t see this person’s face or hear their voice, all because you have never met them before and possibly never will.
They tend to leave your messages on read, yet strangely enough, they still get work done. Your group also wonders why they haven’t gotten a failure due to absence yet.
When working with them, get to know them and try to understand their circumstances – they might have a valid reason for being MIA. Give them an earlier deadline for their tasks too! Just in case you need to edit their work or if they happen to not complete it.
The Control Freak
Usually, they are the leaders of the groups. Some know them as nasty dictators because it’s either their way or the highway.
But we can all agree that there won’t be any work done without them. These people are logical, organised, and very detailed, making them one of the group’s core members.
They are exceptional group members and give your group a sense of direction. They also know when to give credit where credit’s due, so pitch in, take on tasks and do good quality work together!
Finally, you have your best pal, your right-hand man. Very rarely will you meet them, but when you do, you lucked out!
This person thinks like you, works like you, and might even act like you. You find that they are always keeping pace with you and are probably the one you rely on the most.
You feel a strong connection with them and often rely on them the most. But do be careful that you do not leave others out and be sure to spread the workload evenly. Give everyone work to do, not just share it between you.
Group work is full of uncertainties because you are essentially leaving your grade in the hands of possibly unreliable group members. But sometimes, you need to trust your group’s individual strengths and learn to utilise them to benefit everyone in the group.
I hope this article helps you to better understand your group members and know how to work with them. Good luck!