Individual projects and group assignments are a crucial part of student life. Every student has to deal with some form of project work and assignments during their school and college life. Group work is a part of student assignments that helps them learn through various activities. In group work, multiple students come together to work on a project. Let us understand the nature of such activities, what you can expect from such collaboration, and what teachers expect from group work.
What is group work?
You must have heard of group work but if you are unsure of its effects on your assessments and what is group work, continue reading to know more about it. Group work is a form of voluntary association where different members come together to study or work collaboratively. The entire task is divided into small parts and steps that students work through together. It enhances the learning environment as multiple minds come together and share their views and opinions. Moreover, students also get support from one another.
Principles of group work
Group work is a powerful learning approach that can benefit students if used properly. The principles of group work are:
Teachers should communicate the expected outcome of the project to the students. As a student, if you are unsure of the purpose of working in a group, you may not achieve the desired result.
The design should match the learning outcomes. The design of the group work must be inclusive and accessible. Moreover, it should have space for self or peer assessment.
Support and monitoring
There must be a system to check the progress of the group work. There should be a proper check on how different groups are proceeding to make the most out of group activities.
Assessment is a critical part of group activities. The assessment should be designed in a way that provides evidence of individual contribution and achievement in line with QAA precepts.
Teachers can use standard institutional quality processes to review the effectiveness of group work.
All these principles are crucial when designing a group work or activity for students. Teachers should give attention to all parameters mentioned above when including group work in their classroom activities.
Benefits of using group work in the curriculum
If you are learning in a group, you get the opportunity to share your ideas with like-minded people. To make the most out of the activity, you also need to reflect on your ideas. Moreover, you should have the flexibility to understand the viewpoints of others. Most likely, you will get the opportunity to draw on the strengths of your group members, and you may develop rational thinking. Learning group work skills is vital to thrive in your professional career. Working in groups provides you with the opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills like communication, negotiation, and teamwork.
Skills in group work
Group work is not just about working with different people. You also need to show your best during that process. It involves more than your thoughts and enthusiasm; also, you require interpersonal and process management skills. This activity is included in the curriculum to provide you with an environment where you can try experimenting. Some of the skills that you will require in group work are:
Focusing on your interpersonal skills provides you with an opportunity to develop a positive relationship at the workplace. Moreover, you know how to conduct yourself in the workplace. To make office spaces more accommodating, you need to welcome people from diverse cultures, and interpersonal skills come in handy in such situations.
Process management skills
In addition to managing your tasks, you also need to focus on the group objectives. To become efficient in process management, you need to meet your group's expectations. Also, you need to learn to manage group tasks effectively.
Managing the group work process
As you are working with different people at a time, you need to make the process more efficient. Following these steps will help you and your group manage the process effortlessly.
Have clear objectives
Be specific about your goals. Also, try to start every group meeting with a clear objective. Setting clear objectives will help you stay connected to the desired outcome.
Set ground rules
At times, many people do not like to participate in group activities. It could be due to reasons like disinterest in work or being shy. Therefore, follow some ground rules to encourage discussion and come to a resolution without getting repetitive.
Try to communicate with other group members to understand their thinking and ways to achieve the project goals.
People work more effectively when they have the same vision and are motivated to achieve the desired outcome. Moreover, try to understand the points and ideas of others and then filter the best ideas.
Split the entire tasks into different parts and give the accountability of those tasks to other group members.
Get clarity of roles
When a decision is made regarding the project or assignment, every member should be well-informed about the same. They should know every detail relating to the project.
Keep good records
Use online forums or document every meeting to maintain a record of whatever is discussed in group meetings.
Keep your grounds clear and be consistent in your efforts. Stick to the original plan, and if you feel the need to change the plan, communicate the changes to other members.
Monitor progress and stick to deadlines
Discuss the progress concerning the deadlines and timetable. Encourage every member to meet their deadlines so the group deadlines are met on time.
Following these tips will help you make the most out of your group work. It allows you to enhance your skills and learnings. Group work is the best activity to improve the learning outcomes of students.
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