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Effectively Working in Groups in Online Classes

  March 17th, 2018

Working in groups in an education setting can be challenging.  In online classes it can make it even harder. You don’t know who you are working with, they are just a name on a screen.  With in-person classes you can easily get to know someone, and start to build a relationship with them and figure out who you might work best with.  Everyone has a different way of learning and way of doing things, so you want to choose people that you can easily work with.

Finding people to do a group project with online can be difficult.  You don’t know anything about these people. The easiest way to find people that you might be able to work well with is to find what everyone is interested in.  If you are working with people in an open group project where you get to choose the topic you are working on and you have nothing in common with your group members it can be difficult to come to an agreement on what to work on.

Another way to make sure your group succeeds is to find out what everyone’s learning styles are.  You want to make sure you can mesh with your group members. If you don’t know the way a group member operates and does things it can lead to confusion and frustration.  Confusion and frustration is going to lead to problems in the group as far as getting things done in a quality and timely fashion.

You also want to make sure you and your group members are on the same time frame.  Most college students are taking more than one class, most are taking around four, so there is more to do than the one class. Group members should discuss what days’ work best for working on the project.  If everyone in the group but one likes to finish everything by Wednesday it can lead to confusion and a very unorganized group.

So how do we go about making sure that the people we choose for our group match us in most if not all of these ways?  Most the time a teacher will start a discussion board so students can put all their information out there. Make sure as a student you pay attention to who you are choosing as your groupmate and make sure they are someone that seems to be engaged and will work well with you.  Group projects are really difficult for some people so making sure you choose the right people to work with is very important for a successful project.

Writer: Brooke Zerby

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