Ah would ye look! It's the......
A feature of our course was recently introduced to us. “The Group Assignment”. This is where you get thrown together with a few of your, (still mostly unfamiliar), classmates and told to work together and produce a report on a subject you know little about, in a ridiculously restricted number of words and have it done by next Friday week, - or some other random date in the very near future! Oh and by the way- it’s worth 75% of your overall course mark, so it better be bloody good!
One major issue with the group project is the fear about who you will end up with on your team. Will you get saddled with the class swot, who will look down and sneer at, or dismiss your best efforts? Or will you end up with the class dunce – who hasn’t a clue about anything that’s going on? Or perhaps you’ll get the class ghost – you know the guy who was seen at the first lecture but hasn’t been seen since and the thought of having him on your team is just scary! Maybe you’ll get the control freak who has to be in charge of everything or the know-it-all who re-writes everybody’s input because “they know best” - or at least they think they do! Then again you might get the lad who is so laid back he is practically horizontal, and as for deadlines - what the hell are they?
The reality is that you could end up in a group with any one, or even several, of these folks! Indeed, you could be one of them yourself.
But you also have the talented wordsmith, the artistic genius, the clever and insightful editor types and highly organized and supportive collaborators. The reality is that I’m sure you are one of these, as opposed to the aforementioned.
I was lucky, I ended up with a couple of really good guys from the latter bunch. However, no matter who you end up with, I think that a there are a few key elements of trying to ensure success with your task and reduce the stress levels for yourself.
At the end, submit your efforts and don’t forget to celebrate. Making it through a group assignment, without blood on your hands, is worth celebrating! Funny enough, we found the pub very good for that too!