Student Life

Tips to Work Effectively in Group Projects

Tips for students on how to handle group projects.

Student Contributor, Jason Macaranas

March 05, 2022

Tips to Work Effectively in Group Projects
Introverts and extroverts, alike, can unite in the group project.
I am going to put you all into groups of four.” For some students, this is a dreaded line. Group projects are those things that you have to do, but you never want to do. Usually what happens in group projects is that if every member of the group doesn’t contribute, then one person that is determined ends up doing all of the work. This is unfortunately very common, but there are definitely strategies to prevent this from happening. A really good tip would be to give each person a specific task. Students in a group project can easily get confused about where to start. Good teachers would give their students organizers to determine who will do which task.
For example, let’s say the group project revolves around doing research about the American Revolution. Each student can research a specific part about the history. One student can be assigned to make a slideshow. As long as it is clear on what students are doing, then it is easier for everyone to contribute. Another tip that would be very beneficial is for everyone to not do all the work right before the deadline. This sounds obvious, but have you ever had this moment when you were scrolling through YouTube when you should really be writing that essay that is due at midnight? People tend to procrastinate. When a project is due next week, students usually think, Oh, well, that means I can slack off for six days until the deadline is tomorrow. This mindset is very frustrating for the students who are more self-disciplined.
One of the challenges with group projects is working with people who have different personalities. One of the most common conflicts is between extroverts and introverts. Shy people detest group projects, and these are the people who would rather work all alone. Extroverts don’t seem to give introverts a chance, and what usually ends up happening is that only a group of people finish the project. For this article, I am going to lay down a few suggestions for these two groups of people: introverts and extroverts. Here is a list of tips for each one.

Introverts vs Extroverts

For introverts, choose a task that is more comfortable and doesn’t need to involve many social interactions. Maybe you prefer to work on research behind the computer. Maybe you are more comfortable doing work outside of the classroom and communicating through texts or email. Do what you are most comfortable doing while also being a contributor to the project.
Another important tip for introverts is to not be afraid to ask questions. Group projects are very complicated, so it is inevitable that difficulty comes with confusion. The teacher doesn’t expect you to get the whole project in one second. The projects are intended to be open-minded, and they want you to ask questions that may be confusing. A tip for introverts can be to work with people that are very communicatively friendly. Getting their point across is a plus for introverts, and communication is key during group projects. Sometimes working with people that are more gentle and sympathetic can be very beneficial. The problem with extroverts deals with them becoming listeners. In contrast to introverts, extroverts need to be empathetic and understand other people’s concerns. During discussions, extroverts become the leaders—but it is very easy for them to turn into dictators. Sometimes what happens is that the introverts quietly do the work while the extroverts simply assign tasks to everybody without them doing anything. In short, group projects really test you into getting out of your bubble. Extroverts should also work on becoming more open-minded to new and different ideas. When you are having a discussion, it is not just one person doing the talking—everybody is talking like a symphony. It is very important that the mindset shouldn’t be, Oh, I am the genius and I get to steer the wheel. The mindset should be more like, Here is an idea, what do you guys think? When the mindset starts to shift, introverts can start talking more often. There is always a solution to every problem. There will be times when you wish you are not doing something, but you have to. By following these tips, though, the task of doing a group project becomes less complicated and more cooperative. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

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