Four Steps for Working in Groups Online
By Katie Wolchyn
1) Pick a group leader
Discuss with your group mates who would be comfortable being a group leader. The group leader is not in charge of making decisions for the group, but rather, the person in charge of creating Zoom meetings (check out our video tutorial!) and speaking on behalf of the group when necessary. The group leader should not be burdened with any additional tasks, as they are still an equal participant in the group project. Having a group leader helps to minimize the likelihood of miscommunication and helps facilitate connection within the group.
2) Divide tasks
Each group project will have different tasks required for completion. One of the first things to do as a group is to compile a list of what needs to be completed. This is also a great time for group members to mention their strengths and weaknesses so that when dividing the tasks, everyone is confident in their roles.
Once tasks are determined and divided, due dates should be set for both individual items as well as the project as a whole. Due dates are essential for ensuring that projects are completed on time. Ensure that tasks are divided as evenly as possible, no one should be left to take on more than they can handle.
Remember, you are a team. If one member needs assistance with their task (such as difficulty with research, or making sense of the task), they should feel welcome to ask their group for support.
3) Combine parts
Once individual tasks are complete, the group must then combine the separate parts into a cohesive finished project. Creating a Zoom meeting would be beneficial at this point so that group members can share their screens and discuss as they bring their project together. You can also use Zoom to discuss while collaborating on a google doc or one drive file together! Zoom meetings are also ideal for rehearsing projects that need to be presented to the class. For a tutorial on how to access these Zoom functions, and more, watch our “How to use Zoom for Group Work” tutorial.
4) Resolve Conflicts
Following the above steps will help decrease the possibility of conflict. However, if conflict does arise, it is best to speak openly with the member you have a conflict with and be open minded about their situation. Remember, everyone is navigating their lives outside of university as well, so finding a way to aid struggling group members will help the whole group in the long run.
For more resources and support, check out our online learning webpage!