Group Work - what is the point?

Students often say that they do not like group work – so why are they sometimes asked to work in groups?

Group Work

Group Work - Why?

  • It makes you more employable as well as an expert in your area of study.
  • Employers value teamwork skills, as it is a key aspect of most working environments.
  • Undertaking group work will help you develop your toolkit for working with others and in a team and will be instrumental for your CV!
  • You can achieve more as a group than on your own. You can tap in to a wider range of skills and discussing each other’s ideas will help to produce a more rounded piece of work.

Embrace this opportunity to learn new skills

Interpersonal Skills

  • Navigating communication with different personalities.
  • Developing your own voice and confidence in relaying your ideas to a group .
  • Group discussion gives you the opportunity to challenge assumptions.
  • Listening to others. Take on board other people’s ideas.

Management

  • Developing a plan with timescales.
  • Ensuring everyone in the group understands their roles and responsibilities.

Leadership

  • Inspiring the group. Can you be the motivational voice that inspires your team to ensure everyone puts his or her best efforts in to the assessment?

Self-awareness

  • Group work helps you to learn about your strengths and weaknesses (e.g. are you more comfortable leading, do you need to improve your listening skills?)

Observation

  • Observe your peers, is there anyone you want to learn from and emulate? Your peers may have a lot of experience with this type of work, learn from them.

What does teamwork mean?

Teamwork means working in a team, which is a good thing because Together Everyone Achieves More.

What happens if your group has a member not pulling their weight?

This is a common issue with group work so here are some helpful tips:

  • Speak to the team member – there may be good reason for them not engaging, once you know the cause, you can support them to resolve any issues. Remember to be professional and polite, they will appreciate it.
  • If there is a continued problem with engagement, approach your lecturer who may be able to support you.

For further group work tips, USW’s Student Development and Study Skills has produced a handy guide available on their presentations page (click 'Group Presentations').