Group work or team work assignments are part of every degree at USQ. This type of assignment involves working with other students to achieve a common goal, often a written assignment or a presentation. They are an excellent way of developing communication and problem solving skills that you will use throughout your degree and take into the workplace with you. There are many types of group work assignments, so always refer closely to information given by your course leader for all the details.
Set up for success
No matter what type of group work assignment you have, establishing clear ground rules, timelines and communication methods for your group will help you get off to a good start. Writing a group contract can be a helpful in making sure that everyone understands their responsibilities from the beginning. For more information about group contracts, watch this USQ video [2:54] and look at some sample group contracts from other students.
When things go wrong
It is very common for groups to experience difficulties or conflict at some stage. Remember that this is to be expected, and is not necessarily something negative. If you are able to manage it well as a team, it can even have positive outcomes for the entire group. It will be important to deal with the issue as soon as possible, and to communicate clearly and respectfully with each other. To learn more about managing conflict and some strategies that might help you, watch this USQ video [5:42].
- The University of Kent provides a self-assessment questionnaire to help you identify your approach to group work. Reading about all the different roles people take on in groups will help you to understand the behaviour of others.
- This Youtube clip helps you to understand, and overcome, traditional struggles with group work.
- Understanding the different stages of group work (forming, storming, norming and performing) can help you successfully negotiate them.
- UQ have highlighted some of the common problems associated with group work and how to overcome them.