6 Tips for Students working on Group Projects Online
1) Be Patient, Kind and Understanding
Things can come up that will present challenges and unexpected issues. These instances may impact a person's chances of finishing their work on time and on schedule. Therefore, being patient if this happens and understanding when disruptions occur will be beneficial.
Be kind to your group mates and work on a new strategy to get through any problems. It may take picking up some extra responsibility or giving away a task. Have space to allow for any issues like these to occur. This is one of the many reasons why starting your group project early is helpful. This can give you extra time to complete the task before your deadline and have extra time available in the event your schedule changes.
2) Get Started Right Away
Schedule a Microsoft Teams meeting or Skype session or virtual Zoom to get to know your group. Everyone has different ways to complete assignments and various schedules to take into consideration. It is vital to start connecting immediately to come up with a plan. This will help everyone feel comfortable and capable of working at their own pace.
Figure out what the best times to work will be and how to communicate efficiently with each other. Remember that some students may be in different time zones. By planning your work timelines from the start, you will be able to work at your own pace. Microsoft Teams offers chat and video meetings that can be saved which is great for those team members who may be logging in at different times from you. WhatsApp is another popular application for excellent communication.
3) Create An Outline
Having your project outlined will help you with the group and individual work tasks. Utilize Google Docs to communicate with your team. It enables every team member to edit or add materials whenever convenient and keeps track in real-time of any edits that are made. Relying on Google Docs for your outline process will create a central, streamlined base for everyone to complete their work.
4) Divide Tasks and Conquer
At your first virtual meeting go over the upcoming tasks and required project materials. Next, figure out who will be best suited to tackle the specific tasks. Set individual deadlines and a project completion date.
Stay organized by creating recurring group meetings and future scheduled events with your group. Understand most of the work will be individually completed. Every group member should be present for the first meeting. Afterward, if the majority of members are present, you should be fine. If anyone cannot make the meeting, plan on recording it for them to watch later and invite any questions or concerns via messaging or email.
5) Plan Your Peer Review Well In Advance Of the Project Deadline
Everyone needs to review their colleague's work before handing it in to be sure that your project meets its goals. Determine if the material follows the guidelines and is accurate. Your mark depends on this peer review process so allow ample time in case edits need to be made before the deadline.
You will want to check that your final project flows effortlessly from beginning to end, no matter which team member finished which portion. An ideal group project is seamless and can be presented as though a single person finished it, even though there were many individuals involved.
6) Respect the contributions from your groupmates and everyone's timeframes.
Ensure that you are a respectful team member by offering constructive feedback and honoring your team's ideas and contributions. Find ways to compromise on any differences to ensure group success.
Time is one of our most vital resources. Everyone has their own unique ways to manage their time. It is important to respect how other people manage their time. Stick to meeting time limits and scheduled events. Ensure that you meet the deadlines you set. Communication is key. If you find that you are unable to meet a deadline or have something come up, let your teammates know right away in the event of any unexpected issues or disruptions.
These steps can help students succeed in a virtual work environment. Remember to stay in contact with your professor during the project and keep the lines of communication open. Report any delinquent problems as they arise to have ample time to work out your Plan B and succeed.