Working on group assignments is a common feature of many courses and this can be a cause for concern for some students. This could be because they are unsure how to contribute ideas or approach a team member who is not fully engaged.
However, being part of a team can help you build your learning community, so approaching this as an active learner can help to alleviate these concerns. Actively contributing to your team can help you to develop valuable skills and capabilities such as decision-making, problem-solving and leadership and negotiation skills.
Before you start university, consider the strengths and experiences you might be able to bring to team working. These could include good organisation of notes, effective time keeping in meetings, understanding others' needs, and delegating tasks accordingly.
Once you’ve started university, use these strengths to actively make a unique contribution to your team. Reflect on how you can contribute to the group dynamic by meeting your responsibilities in good time, promote team cohesion and provide a lead when necessary, for example, setting realistic goals and supporting others.
Use the opportunity team working affords to understand different viewpoints, backgrounds and experiences.
By actively contributing within a group in these ways, you have an opportunity to develop invaluable workplace skills that employers look for in graduates.
What you can do
- Team working on an assignment
- Forming a study group (peer-to-peer learning)
- Contribution to a university club/society or learning scheme.
How you can participate
- Be supportive of others by staying connected with your team
- Be aware of the strengths you (and others) can bring to the task and identify your role
- Complete tasks and manage deadlines.
What you'll develop
- Negotiation and persuasion skills
- Decision-making, leadership and problem-solving abilities.