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Don't panic: guide to being a QMU student: Group work

The The Guide to Being a QMU Student by Ellie Pullar & Bianca Petrone

Group Work

Group work, let me tell you. You might like it; you might be able to find the positive side of it or you might end up hating every single moment of it. Working with people is not the easiest.

University means different things for different people, therefore the effort put into it may be intangibly different to your own. From our experience, lecturers tell you pick your own group so of course we are all drawn to grab our friends. This can sometimes be your worst nightmare, or it can be smooth sailing. Choose your group wisely and if you are with friends make sure everyone is comfortable with their roles and that their skills match the roles given to them. There will be modules and tasks that some of the group members simply don’t like so will slapdash their input to the assessment and hope the rest of the group will fix it. Unfortunately, this does not work in most cases, it creates conflict between group members which impacts the quality of work handed in at the end.

Remember that working in groups is a common practice in most jobs, you are always part of a team that must work together. Use group work at uni as a practice for your future job. Be organised and from the get-go write down who is doing what and know exactly what they are meant to do. The reality is, that not all students will contribute fully to group as they hope that the rest of the group will carry them through. In the eventuality of discrepancies of group work, talk to the other members to try and solve the problems. If talking to the group does not solve any issues, it is necessary for you to speak up and present the issues to your lecturer. It can be extremely stressful feeling like you are the only one doing the work in a group and the lecturers are there to help so don’t be put off asking for help. However, don’t wait until the deadline, the sooner the better as there is always a solution.

Group work ultimately can be very challenging but also very rewarding. If you take anything from this section, choose your group wisely! Working with friends is possibly the hardest part of group work as they will except you to carry them. If the lecturer gives you the option between choosing your own group or being put into groups, let them, it’s much easier to deal with people you aren’t close with and you might find the best group to carry out all assessments.