Wen Hui Cheng
Sail through your virtual group work
Holiday is over and school is back!
Are you ready for the E-learning semester?
You may have gotten bits of E-learning during last semester, but it may get tougher this time with literally everything online. Are you prepared to handle group work with your lovely teammates that you have never seen before in real life???
Fear not! Here are some tips to ensure the smooth sailing of your journey with your teammates:))
1. Short introduction right at the start
It can be really awkward when we first get to know someone for both online and offline mode. But more so for online if the silence goes on (although you can take it as a drop in connection). Starting out with a round of short introduction (*take note: this includes having the video cam on) would be an ideal ice-breaker to at least know who your teammates are.
2. Set up a chat group as soon as possible
This may sound ‘duh’, but it takes quite some initiatives for someone in the group to make the first move and add everyone into the group. It would save so much trouble to prevent unintended missing members as you lost connection with your teammates. Make this the first agenda for the group! Maybe you can send a group email to collate their details and when the group is up, you will save so much trouble.
3. Take on roles in meeting session and rotate them
Just like any other meeting sessions, you would need someone to lead and someone take note of things discussed in the sessions. It would be good to assign roles (eg. leader, participants, minute taker, etc.) and rotate them if possible. (*** This is crucial for everyone to be equally involved mentally and physically!) This will ensure the efficiency of your zoom sessions with teammates and reduce awkward silence at times :’) ..
(*** hopefully this don't happen 😂 )
4. Plan different checkpoints and set agenda for one another
As the saying goes: ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish.’ It is advisable not to take a leap of faith that stress will be a magical catalyst in finishing your assignment as deadlines creep near. Having a plan and setting different checkpoints can help reduce unnecessary confusions, especially since you will not get to meet your teammates physically in every tutorial. Note down the assignment deadlines and set checkpoints with your teammates. Check on each other’s progress at the different checkpoints! Make sure that everyone is aware of their specific workloads and is on the same track.
5. Always check on one another and remain flexible
It can get a bit tedious to really know how your teammates are coping with their specific contributions to the group. However, as a group, it is a chance for us to learn how to better coordinate with others and maximise the results of our assignments. Everyone will be having different study plans and deadlines, you may be busy this week while the rest are occupied in subsequent weeks. Check with one another and make sure that no one is struggling alone. Take turns to hard carry the group when you are less occupied in certain weeks.
Hopefully these tips can give you a better head start in establishing chemistry with your teammates and you can gradually develop your own ways of handling the workloads that best fit everyone in the team. All the best to your E-learning semester and let’s make it a great one for one another!