Group projects are feared by many students. Lets face it: We have all had at least one bad experience with group projects. Maybe this is the very reason you are reading this – to convince yourself that they are worth it. And you are right. Group projects have many benefits for all types of students – shy, overactive, hard workers, artists, nerds, or whatever they are. However, to fully take advantage of all these benefits, you must know what to expect and how to deal with everything and everyone. In other words, you should not quit a group project. Not even if it’s going badly. Not even if you feel it’s a waste of time. And especially not if you’re having disagreements with the rest of the team members. Want to know why?
Group projects take your communication skills to another level
It’s true. I used to be extremely shy, and working or even interacting with a group of people would be terrifying. I would always be the quiet one, the one who listens, nods occasionally, and waits for the clock to move faster. However, I continued to participate in all kind of projects – I entered myself in multiple group competitions, joined the drama club, and at some point, I tried the debate club as well. Not all these experiences made me feel good or valued.
I went from welcoming groups of students to competitive and aggressive ones. It was a roller coaster of various personalities and environments. I was surprised to see that each time I attended a meeting, I was more open, more likely to express my thoughts on the discussed subjects, and more aware of the other member’s perspectives.
If you’re part of a group project and you’re not sure whether you should stay or give up, think about the results – you will learn how to be more comfortable around people, and you will also develop strong listening and speaking skills. Needless to say, you will most likely overcome your personal difficulties and get along with everybody else. Furthermore, group projects allow you to pick the brain of your fellow classmates. Research has shown this improves the extent to which you can be articulate and clear, because you get the chance to practice with other people’s way of explaining things. When understanding other formulations of a topic that is (or seems) familiar, you are on your way to mastering the topic. This is why we have created the eFaqt Network. This allows you to pick the brain of one, or many of our 100.000 users, and import, edit summaries or collaborate on them.
Group projects challenge you to take care of responsibilities
It’s easy to say, “I’ll do it late,” which sometimes transcribes to never dealing with that assignment. I know because I am guilty of doing this. And trust me, it’s not pleasant at all when the consequences of the task you were supposed to do come back around. However, in group projects, you are going to face three important matters: deadlines, commitment, and expectations. Teamwork forces you to commit to finishing your tasks by the deadline because you know the others are expecting quality work from you. If you neglect all of these, you automatically become the weak spot of the entire team.
“Research shows that studying or working with others can significantly boost your productivity and motivation.”
If you are part of a group project, you will have to meet occasionally with the rest of the team to finish or review materials. Everybody’s working at the same time will create a motivational atmosphere, and it will make you feel bad if you are not as productive as the others. In other words, you will want to hustle more and achieve more. By doing this, you will also find your voice and status in a team. For a group to function properly, members have to contribute differently and create a balance between doing quality work and feeling integrated, valued and respected. Thus, individuals will inevitably find their roles in the team and act accordingly.
A powerful group project has:
• An initiator (who is usually the leader) • A researcher • A questioner • A summarizer At the same time, to ensure a pleasant atmosphere, the team will need: • Someone to compromise • Someone to observe • Someone to mediate • Someone to encourage • Someone to make silly jokes No matter where you stand, the skill you acquire will help you later in life, as well, when working in an office along with other employers. Plus, a group project is a perfect experience to learn some leadership skills. It doesn’t matter if you are one or not. At some point, you may be chosen to represent the team. But if you are not, you can still shadow the behaviour of the current leader and understand how he or she organizes the work, encourages everybody, and maintains the positive atmosphere. Leadership is one of the most required skills on the market, so learning how to do it properly should be in your best interest.