Being a team player is a crucial skill in the working world, which is why honing these skills at university is so important. While much of your overall grade will be the sum of your individual work, a proportion may also come from work you have completed as part of a team. And it’s not just your overall mark which is being assessed. In some instances, how effectively you operate as part of a team will also be assessed to calculate your final grade.
For some of people, working in a group is second nature. For others, succeeding in group projects at university can be a challenge. On your own, you can do things your way and feel confident that every aspect of your work is being taken care of. When you’re involved in a group, you have less control and must accept a range of different ideas and working styles which may conflict with your own.
From essay writing to research, working in a group can be a positive experience with the right approach. Here, we’ll be looking at how to find the right balance of people to achieve the best group dynamics, to make group projects at university a big success!
Choosing your team
Working with the right people is critical to the success of your group project. If you have the luxury of choosing your partners, opt for people who you can trust to deliver the work required of them. You may “get on” better with some classmates, but it’s much more important to work with people who are dependable and committed.
So, look around your class or lecture hall and see who wants to come on board and into your group. Perhaps you want to set up a social media page where you can talk and discuss initial ideas. This also gives you the chance to see people’s strengths and skills.
Selecting the right team member for each task will ensure that everybody is contributing their strengths to the overall project, which will help you achieve even better results.
Whatever your group project is, there are some key team members you as a team need to assign before you get started. Work as a group to figure out which person would best suit which role.
Obviously, you will have your own thoughts about which role YOU would like to take on. You would be wise to suggest this to the group during discussions; you don’t want to be lumbered with a role that you’re not thrilled about and which doesn’t play to your strengths. Maybe word this by saying “As I am quite organised and conscientious, I think I could be a great secretary…” You can put this out to the group to debate and discuss. If you know which role you’d suit, it can really aide group discussions to put it out there, otherwise you may find that the group procrastinates and the discussion takes a long time to get anywhere.
Here are the roles which your group may need to consider assigning:
● The team leader.
Good teamwork relies on a good team leader. You need somebody to take charge who can have the final say on disagreements and the direction of your group project. A good team leader will be able to keep the team on track, arbitrate, and delegate to ensure the project is running on schedule and going to plan. When you are in your group, you should all talk about which team member would be the best. This is a group decision! Choose a calm but confident person who is able to see different sides in an argument then make balanced decisions.
● The secretary.
Keeping track of your discussions, decisions and direction is crucial to good group work. Choose someone with good organisational skills to fulfil the role of record-keeper and secretary. From arranging meetings, to ensuring every team member has the materials they need to fulfil their role, this team member is essential. They may want to consider using tools like Dropbox, Trello or Google Drive to give their team a central, collaborative online workspace.
● The creative spark.
This is not a role you can deliberately assign, but having a creative person to contribute to your group project will make a big difference to your task. While it’s important to have organised, systematic people on your team to make sure progress is made, working with somebody who might be less organised but more inventive could take your group project in a totally new and interesting direction which is sure to impress your tutors.
● The helper.
Again, this isn’t a role you can assign, but it’s worthwhile finding a team member or two who is great at following instructions and getting the work done. These people are really good team players, adept at getting on with the tasks they’ve been set and contributing where necessary. They’ll be happy to take a “back seat” in discussions but feel confident working independently to deliver their allocated work.
Find a good mix of these people and you’ll have a great team, ready to tackle group projects at university with a positive approach.
Consider Oxbridge Essays part of your team!
Why not ask Oxbridge Essays to join your team? Our UK essay writers have helped thousands of students create outstanding work both individually and as part of group projects. From writing essays, to undertaking research and preparatory work, we’re the team member you need to achieve your very best. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can contribute to your group project at university.