The dreaded group project is part of many students’ college coursework.
If you spot a group project on your syllabus the first day of class, your immediate reaction is to scan the room for potential partners.
Who will pull their weight in a group setting? Who will inevitably let the whole team down?
While group projects can be frustrating and stressful, there’s a reason why schools encourage them. The skills you learn in a group setting will benefit you in future semesters and throughout your career.
The right group can teach you more about yourself, your peers, and your field of study than any solo endeavor. Learn what’s in store for you with these advantages of college group projects.
Develop Expert Communication Skills
Communication is a necessary part of any group project. Students must work together to brainstorm ideas, schedule meetings, divide tasks, and present their work at the end of the project.
If you can’t voice your thoughts and listen to others, you won’t be able to function as a team. Though communication can be difficult—especially when other participants aren’t as willing to put in the effort to do so—you still build valuable skills throughout the project.
Both successes and failures can teach you better communication skills. Moreover, clear and effective communication is crucial to all professional endeavors.
The skills you learn in a college group project will help you network in your field, present solo ideas, and conduct collaborative research and other future group projects successfully.
Tackle Bigger Projects
With multiple classes, exams, and extracurricular activities on their plate, students can only do so much with a solo project. One of the advantages of college group projects is that they increase the range of what an individual can do.
A group project brings more ideas, resources, hours, and expertise to the table, which means they can tackle projects that would be impossible for one person to do on their own. It presents a great opportunity for students to branch out of their usual routine and see what they can do with the help of others. Group projects help individual students step out of their comfort zones and expand their knowledge on a given subject.
Lessons in Accountability
No one wants to be the person doing all the work by themselves. When you work as a team, you have to rely on each other to get the job done.
The routine you rely on for solo work might not be good enough for your group’s expectations. Alternatively, someone else might not be keeping up with their portion of the work.
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How do you keep everyone on track to produce good results? Group work teaches you how to be accountable and how to hold others accountable. This means giving and receiving criticism in a professional, constructive manner.
If someone offers feedback, learn to take it calmly and apply it to your future work. At the same time, be friendly and helpful when giving feedback to others. Holding yourself and others accountable teaches patience, humility, and the ability to constantly improve yourself and your work.
Image Credit: advantages of college group projects by Pixabay
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