Rachel D’Sa // ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR
While some professors may say that they prepare you for real world tasks and that they’re a great way of getting to know your fellow classmates, we all know that group projects are just one massive pain. Though it’s true that they can produce lasting friendships and solid grades, more times than not, you will be dragged through a fiery pit of hell by one lazy student who doesn’t bother to pull their weight.
To help, the Capilano Courier has compiled a list of tips on how to get through or even avoid the tough time:
CONSIDER ALL YOUR OPTIONS
Is the class an elective? Is it absolutely necessary you take it? Weigh the options and if need be, create a flowchart or Venn diagram. If you come to the consensus that you truly need the class, categorize your group members: the average by-standers who don’t do any more or less than what’s asked of them, the lazy ones and the pushy, annoying keeners.
GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER
Divvy up the work right away and try to be friendly, get to know everyone on a more personal level. It will be difficult for the lazy group members to put aside the project if they make connections within the group. Exchange contact information and find any form of similar interests. You’ll never find success with group members you hate.
MEETING UP > WORKING REMOTELY
Face to face interaction is always more productive. There’s also the added pressure of embarrassment when your share of the work isn’t done. Set in-person work days and if you notice that someone has yet to do their part, approach them in a calmly manner – before going home to curse their name.
Choose a quiet and familiar space to work – like the campus library – decreasing distraction and uneasiness when it comes to finding or trekking to the meeting place. If you find your group is on the ball, set up your next meeting in a café, where you’ll still be able to work while enjoying a more social environment.
MIND THE DETAILS
Have check-in dates before the actual deadline. Have your work ready to go with enough time to ask you professor for feedback. Throughout the group project experience, have coping mechanisms by your side at all times. This can include: food for stress eating, therapy balls, inanimate objects to yell at, etc.
When in doubt, talk to your professor. If the prospects of the project are looking dire, there’s no loss in seeking external help. However, avoid waiting until the last minute, you’ll need ample amounts of time in case your group needs to restructure your work.
SUCK IT UP AND DO THE WORK
At the end of the day, your goal is to get as great a grade as possible, so just try your best to play well with others and do whatever it is you can to ensure a strong final product.
You might even come to terms with the fact that you’ve become the pushy and annoying keener of your group. At least you’ll get an A for effort!