Participating in group projects can be difficult enough, especially if it focuses on online group work. The complexities of today’s technology create even more challenges when it comes to collaboration with others online do due certain communication limitations. Here are a few techniques and resources that can be used in order to increase online communication and successfully collaborate with others in a group for a group project.
- Get to know your group members – Knowing your group members is one of the most important steps to being a successful online group member. Establishing relationships with group members can eliminate the possibility of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. The sooner you can become comfortable with your group members, the easier it will be to communicate and share ideas. This can lead to the discovery of everybody’s different strengths and skills which will be valuable information when doing the project.
- Understand the assignment – After the instructor assigns the project, it is very important that everyone in the group has the same goals. If everybody discusses their interpretation of the assignment, everyone can gain an understanding of the common goals of what wants to be achieved. This allows everybody to initially come up with an agreement, which helps the project run smoothy.
- Assign Roles – Breaking down the project into manageable parts can be very helpful and can have a major impact the outcome. Success will not come if only one person does the entire project. After the demands of the project are analyzed, assigning roles and responsibilities allows everyone to complete their own individual assignments. This can relieve some stress and enables everyone to fully contribute to the project. Establishing expectations among all group members will make it clear what is expected of everyone which can further establish group consistency and organization.
- Scheduling Tools – Doodle, When2Meet, BuckeyeMail Calendar
- Discussion/Video Conferencing – GroupMe, Appear.in, Skype, Zoom
Sustaining motivation can be tough, even in the best of circumstances. It is easy to lose interest and naturally start to give up. Whether you have a never ending to-do-list and you’re stressed, you receive another job rejection, you are given bad news, or you do not have time in the day to do the things that you find important, we are always given reasons to give up and lose the hope that we once had. Motivation is not magic, but there are a few tips of how to stay motivated on tasks of any size.
- Set a goal and visualize it down to very small details – Visualizing your performance ahead of time can have a long lasting affect on your overall outcome. Goal-setting is the driving force to success.
- Create a list of reasons why you want to accomplish your goal – We live in a busy, distracting world and it is very easy to lose track of the things that matter most. By grounding yourself in your goal, you can engage in your goal more actively. Creating a list of your reasons to accomplish your goal reminds you of its importance and establishes a reassurance.
- Break down your goal/Set intermediary targets – It can be extremely overwhelming if you only focus on the big picture. By creating more short term goals along the way, it will be much easier to stay motivated throughout the duration of your project. Only focusing on long term goals can be discouraging which impacts levels of motivation.
- Have a strategy – Nobody is perfect, so expect that not everything is going to go your way. It is important to have a strategy and create a well thought out plan, but it is encouraged to be prepared to change course if things go wrong.
- Find resources in case help is needed – There is no shame in asking for help. By knowing how to find and use resources around you, you will only make it easier on yourself in the long run.
- Pre-determine how to deal with low motivation – Low motivation at some point is nearly inevitable, so make sure you figure out a way of dealing with this before it spirals out of control. It is important that you are aware of what can pick you up when you are overcome with setbacks and need a little boost.
Many people would describe themselves as procrastinators. We all know what we should and need to do, but many of us still go the “lazy route” to avoid doing work as much as possible. There is nothing wrong with having time set aside for yourself every once in a while, but procrastinating too much will prevent you to from getting important things done, leading to possible failure. Procrastinators tend to put obstacles in their own path which ultimately ends up hurting their overall performance. These are a few reasons why someone would choose to procrastinate.
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of skill
- Fear of the consequences failure
- Fear of the consequences of success
- Lack of interest
- Rebellion and resistance
It is important that everyone stops procrastinating in order to their lives more fully. Here are a few tips to become more productive and focused in order to reduce procrastination.
- Stop thinking, stop avoiding, start doing – Planning can definitely help you achieve what you want to achieve, but too much planning can have a negative outcome. Nobody is perfect. You are bound to make mistakes along the way and that’s okay.
- Do not exaggerate/Blow tasks out of proportion – By over thinking and making tasks seem so much then they really are, the harder it will be to accomplish them. It may seem that you are protecting yourself from pain or fear, but putting things off makes it much worse and even creates more and more self-doubt. Blowing things our of proportion causes you to dwell on it for much longer than necessary and think about it in a more negative sense, so it’s best to just take action right away.
- Take the first step and the rest will come easier – It is easy to get overwhelmed when looking too far in the future. By taking the first step, it can instantly make you more positive and enthusiastic about the situation. It is important to focus on your plan in terms of creating multiple short term goals rather than just constantly looking at the big picture. After taking the first step, then you can take the next step, and the one after that. This process becomes easier and easier as you move along.
- Start with the hardest task – Getting the most challenging and stressful task out of the way can be very relieving. This will allow you to be more positive and proud of yourself afterwards and will continue as the day goes on. Also, this makes your to-do-list feel much easier as you move along.
- Face your fears – It is much easier to live in the “someday” thought process rather than make these thoughts a reality. Taking action can be difficult due to the risk of making mistakes, having to deal with failure, and having to take responsibility. This easier choice comes from a sense of comfort, however it typically leaves people feeling regretful and unfulfilled.