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How did I get here? I spent the last few hours waiting for a member of my group to send back his section for our group project. My eyelids grew heavier. I finished my section and was running on fumes. And yet, I still had to wait a few more hours until I had gotten the finished section from him. Then, I had to spend extra time making it flow with the rest of the group’s sections.
I wish that was the biggest issue I had when I did my month long group project. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t. I should have seen it coming since group project + first time being the group leader + online class = intense stress.
Here are some other “fun” situations I experienced:
1. Had to post information in at least 2 different places every time I had to give my group an important update
2. Did the last look over before we turned in parts of our project, so I formatted each and edited/revised each part (I’m more big idea than detailed-oriented, so this task felt very tedious)
3. Keep and make sure that we were on schedule
I was doomed from the start. I think we ended up with a “C” on the project, but my grades for my other classes suffered. Plus, I felt stressed and complained a lot.
If I could go back in time, I would have changed the tools I used, my routine, and my communication plan. Today, we are going to go for the easy win and focus of the right tools to survive group projects.
Grammarly is a proofreader and plagiarism identifier. You can get the premium version, which reveals more errors and works in Microsoft word or get a free account. When I’m in the writing zone, my parts of the project will be filled with spelling and grammar issues. In addition, most people quickly scan their work, and they don’t catch all of their grammar and spelling errors. I like how works as another way to double check my work.
Here’s my process:
1. Read over my work and make changes as needed
2. Run it through Grammarly
3. Go over it one more time
4. Ask someone to proofread my work if I have time
Favorite Tip: After you sign-up, get the Grammarly extension on your browser. Whenever I’m in a hurry, I put my writing as an email in Gmail. Then the Grammarly extension checks my work.
The most important apps in the G-Suite (used to be Google Apps) have to be Google Docs and Google Slides. Being able to collaborate in real-time changes the game and keeps people accountable. I love Google Slides because you don’t have to worry about the only person having the right presentation. Even in PowerPoint, you risk someone updating the slides without telling anyone else. I like Prezi as well, but everyone has access to the group’s Google Slides, and you save time designing since you have fewer options.
GroupMe is a text-messaging app. You can use it on your phone and your computer. When I did my first online group project, it was relatively easy to keep track of who I was texting. Then, next semester hit. I was getting texts from two different group projects and my clubs. GroupMe creates different groups on your phone and puts the person’s name next to his/her texts.
1. Use Grammarly to quickly check your work for spelling and grammar issues. Furthermore, use it to double check other members of your group.
2. Create a Google Docs and share it with everyone in your group. Even if your group won’t do any writing for the project in Google Docs, you can summarize the project requirements or list all the roles of the project.
3. Lastly, GroupMe is the best way to group text. Have everyone sign-up for your group’s GroupMe.