How can I encourage my group to work more effectively?

Question:

How can I encourage my group to work more effectively?

Answer:

StudyWISE, accessible from your iLearn unit under Student Support, has an extensive section on Working in Groups which covers everything you need to know.

Here is a brief list of strategies that can help:

•   Discuss and agree on some ground rules from the beginning. These rules should cover what is expected from each group member and what won’t be tolerated.

•   Make sure everyone has each other’s contact details.

•   Make sure that details of upcoming meetings are communicated clearly, including:

    ◦    when and where the meeting will be held

    ◦    what each group member is expected to do prior to the meeting

    ◦    what to bring to the meeting.

•   Choose a chairperson and a secretary for your group meetings. These may be the same people throughout the project or the roles may rotate.

•   The chairperson is responsible for ensuring that all items on the agenda are covered in a timely fashion and that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion.

•   The secretary makes notes during the meeting and then types them up into minutes to be sent to all group members after the meeting, covering:

    ◦    what was discussed

    ◦    what decisions were reached

    ◦    what actions need to be taken, by whom and by when.

•   If a group member is not contributing, try to bring it up openly with them in a group meeting. Try not to accuse them of anything—just explain that the group is concerned, and ask if there is something that is preventing them from being able to do the work that the group may be able to help them with.