The group assignment. Ah yes, the irritable and obligatory attempt for 10% of your course marks disguised as a fabled quest for teamwork and cooperation. Uni tutors are usually just trying to palm off the last few marks of the course by putting you in groups to do work, so they don’t have to set an essay and create more work for themselves – yes, I have a cynical view of group assignments, show me someone who likes them and I’ll give you $50*.
*I will not give you $50
So now that we’ve firmly established the irritability of group assignments, here are a list of ways to get through them relatively unscathed. Read aloud as a group for best effect (kidding, no group work allowed, read to yourself silently). How to not be ‘that guy’ in a group assignment:
If you’re looking around silently at one another, it’s because you’re all waiting to see who’s going to carry the group on their back to success. Sure, it’s great if someone wants to do all the hard yards, but you shouldn’t take advantage of someone else to get good uni marks. Start delegating responsibility to each group member and don’t let anyone slack off. Make it fair.
Yes, the whole thing sucks. No one is super excited to do a group assignment, so just put in the energy and time to get through it and you’ll feel better once it’s done. It’s much better to put in effort earlier rather than sit back and sour about it – plus it will go faster if you get busy getting it done.
Waiting around for group members to do their bit is probably the worst part of the group assignment. If you do what you need to do, send it to your group members and leave it, you’ll have peace of mind. People will appreciate you for getting things done when they need it, and you set the expectation that everyone should meet you half way.
I’m one of those people who just wants to get an assignment done straight away so I don’t have to wait around and waste time, but that doesn’t always go down well in group assignments. If you have an opinion about how things should be done, that’s great, but don’t forget that you will be marked on your ability to cooperate and work as a team. I know, lame, but ce la vie.
Once everyone has done their bit, you will notice that the writing style, layout or level or work is different from the rest. If you’re in a situation where you need to present your work as a group, do yourself a favour and edit the whole thing before it goes in front of your tutor. Yes, it’s the sum of the parts that make a whole, but if your assignment has spelling mistakes, different fonts and sentence structure it’s not going to go down well.
If you stick to the basic rules of decency you’ll all get through the assignment without feeling like you’ve lifted a finger. It’s a hassle at first, but once your team is done you’re all going to feel great for not losing your minds over obligatory cooperation. High five guys.