Group work is your daily bread at the university. They serve the ability to work in a team to train an important characteristic belonging to the Soft Skills, which is absolutely in demand in later professional life. Students at the university do not always receive recommendations from their lecturers for group work. In this article you will get the tips for your group work, so that everything runs smoothly and with more pleasure.
Set certain deadlines for group work
In order to maintain an overview and not to find shortcomings too late, it is advisable to set certain deadlines that are binding for all group members. So everything can be checked again at the end and revised if necessary. Watch out for a timely processing of your task and always be perfectly prepared!
Whenever the group meets, it’s about everyone presenting their own results or summaries. In a joint exchange, the individual group members learn where there is still some catching up to do for you. In order for you to do well in this comparison, it is advisable to prepare very well for the meeting. Did you get a good overview of the research literature and already read the most important essays?
Did you create an overview of your respective topic?
In group meetings or by e-mail, you can compare which terms are defined by which group members, which sub-areas are treated and which information is presented. So you can avoid the overlaps. After all, nothing seems more unprofessional than when one and the same term is repeatedly defined within a group department. Exception: Differences between the individual definitions can be shown.
Distribution of individual roles – speakers and moderator
Typically, each group member is assigned a topic or sub-topic. If a discussion arises on the respective topic, the respective speaker is responsible for the moderation of the discussion.
Anyone who likes to talk can also agree to moderate the group presentation and present the result.
In the optimal case, the transitions from one part to the other should be fluent. Especially well prepared is a group presentation, if there are well-chosen transitions between the individual sections.
Emergencies in group work – What to do if…
What can you do if a member of the group does not attend the meeting? You can tell your instructor that a particular person did not attend the meeting or did not participate in the preparation for the unit. What can you do if you absolutely do not like a person in your group?
Normally, group work at the university is divided into individual parts. You will hardly have anything to do with this group member since everyone formulates the part of the handout that concerns them and presents their section alone.
However, if you need to work directly with this unsympathetic group member, try to make the most of it. If the person is unfriendly for no reason or starts a discussion because of trifles, you can address them.
If a person in the group constantly behaves with his or her behavior and does not change, the person can – but only in an absolute emergency – be thrown out of the group. In this case, it is advisable to have a conversation with the lecturer.
What do you do if two members of the group can not agree?
When dividing the subject area to be edited, each group member has a subarea, which he or she manages on their own. For this section, the person can decide for himself how best to proceed.
The person designing the handout should make a uniform formatting for all parts. It can be agreed that the “handout designer” is responsible for the orderly display of all parts.
If the dispute of the group members is already burning when the individual topics are divided, you can decide the lot in an emergency. Normally every member of the group should take on the single topic with which they feel most comfortable.
One member of the group is ill on the day of the unit
If a member of the group is absent due to illness on the day of the presentation, then you have the part of the respective member on the handout. Of course, in most cases, no other person can take over the lecture of the ill member, but the summary on the handout and their references can help the other students to work independently on the topic.
The benefits of group work at the university
As part of the group work at the university you have the opportunity to expand your own team skills.
Not infrequently, real friendships are the result of group work.
When you talk about the presentation you are not quite alone. If one of the group members loses his or her details in the lecture or can not continue, another group member may give in.
The disadvantages of group work
Not always are all sympathetic. You have to try to get along with everyone. In a group can be self-actors, egoistic lone fighters or particularly timid persons.
There are more diligent and lazy members in each group. In the worst case, most of the work gets stuck with a member.
The individual members of a group have individual talents and different strengths and weaknesses. In the context of group work, it is important to use the respective strengths and talents of the individual group members. Often, however, there is not enough time to figure out which group member is best for which section.
Sometimes the group as a whole receives a grade. At the same time, some feel disadvantaged, especially when they have to pay for the worse achievements of the other group members.
The social skills of some group members may be poor. It can also happen that you have to work with very weak persons.
If the group consists of too many members, the overall motivation may decrease as many members of the group think the others are doing the job. It is therefore important to divide the tasks within a group well. So nobody can rely on the other group members to take over their own area of responsibility.
The study group – together it is easier to learn
Sometimes, a group of units also turns into a study group. However, since you can concentrate less well while learning in a group, each group member should sit down at home again and patter individual parts of the learning material properly. Study groups are also very suitable for the preparation for the exams.