Very few students can be enthusiastic about group work in the context of a seminar. Since you are thrown together with a few students that you do not even know very well and now not only has to thoroughly work on a topic, but also deal with the strengths and, above all, with the weaknesses of the combatants.
What if all the work gets stuck with one or two people? And the others ride only as freeloaders? What if the work is fairly divided and all the others are as anxious as you are, but you leave your results and work to be desired and get a worse grade because of your poor work? Mitgefangen mitgehangen …
So that such horror scenarios do not even occur, you will receive the following tips for successful and successful group work. After all, a group work does not just have disadvantages. She is a good thing.
Group work as a good experience
First of all, all those who already put their hair on the back when they say “group work” should realize that group work is never just about working on a topic, but that successful cooperation with fellow students is also an objective of this form of working , Group work can even be a good preparation for working life. It is an important experience if you tackle it with the right attitude. At work, you will not be able to deal with colleagues in most cases. It is only an advantage if you have already learned to cooperate constructively in a group during your studies.
Avoid mistakes from the outset
To successfully create a paper or homework within the group, you should be aware of potential issues from the beginning. You have to organize the work so that these problems do not occur at best. Difficulties are mainly caused by too many participants in the group, bad planning and inappropriate distribution of tasks.
The size is what matters
A workgroup should never consist of more than five participants. The smaller the group, the better she will work together. For example, in a workgroup of two, it will be difficult for someone to press before they work. Both will try to do their part and not leave the other one in the lurch. The larger a group is, the looser is usually the cohesion. Here, the strengths and weaknesses of the participants are much easier to come to light: one likes to tear everything in itself? Great, then that can, who likes to work before the work, make wonderful use. You should make sure that the lecturer or the teacher does not divide too large groups and if necessary talk to him about it.
Most students are happy to work with friends. But beware! Just because you can talk or celebrate privately privately with someone does not mean that you can work well together. It may be fruitful under certain circumstances.
For a successful group work the tasks have to be clearly distributed from the beginning. The most equal and even distribution of tasks is desirable. But you should not ignore the individual strengths and weaknesses of the group members. It does not do much to evenly distribute the tasks ahead if it causes the most shy group member to stutter in moderating the discussion. It offers more advantages if the members take over the tasks according to their personal abilities. The spontaneous and never a word embarrassed takes over the moderation, and the creative makes the PowerPoint presentation. The rhetoric genius revises the lecture. Such a division not only makes group work more enjoyable, everyone can do their best and opens up completely new possibilities. In addition, you are in this way much more free from free riders.
Of course, all group participants, regardless of their specific role, have to deal intensively with the topic to be dealt with and when it comes to a lecture, everyone must know the part of the other, so that in case of failure of a group member – for example by illness – without problems for the missing Person can jump in.
To deal with the topic together
It makes little sense to approach group work as quickly as possible. A short meeting, assigning tasks and seeing each other again – that can only be to the disadvantage. A phase of discussion about the topic with all group members is very important. Terms and methods must be clarified and information exchanged and reflected. If you get it right, this is a very exciting and profitable part of a group work. You have the chance to deal intensively with the opinion of others on the subject.
Establish clear rules
In a working group, people with different working methods meet. There is the perfectionist, who still finds something that you can do better, then there is the one who does everything at the last minute. It is therefore important in a group work to set clear rules from the beginning. It has to be decided which part of the work has to be done when, and there should be enough time for a final meeting and revision. You should only make major issues at the final meeting. If there are disagreements, a vote can help.
What to do in disputes?
If several people at the same time take care of one and the same topic, it is not enough that it comes to different opinions. Tangible discussions can even be very profitable for a group work. You should make sure that you do not focus too much on little things and do not bite on one thing too much. Once it comes to tangible disputes, a person in the dispute neutral group or in larger disputes within the entire group and possibly even the seminar leader should be used as a mediator, weigh arguments and smooth the waves.