Though sometimes frustrating, group projects allows students to practice vital communication skills

Group collaboration opens doors for new ideas and polishes students communication skills.

evereducating.com

Group collaboration opens doors for new ideas and polishes students’ communication skills.

I have worked with many unique people all my life—especially in high school.

So, it isn’t surprising to me that there have been times that I have had discrepancies and disagreed with the views of others that I have had to work with. Group projects have never been my favorite; in my experience, the shared work usually leads to one person picking up the slack for the others, the work gets pushed off until the last minute, or both. 

Not only can the work ethic and motivation levels of the group members be very different, but sometimes the personality traits exhibited might not be ones I would willingly agree to work alongside on a normal occasion. 

Plenty of times, I have been surrounded by people who act immature, unmotivated, and do not give the same amount of energy to the project as I am. As frustrating as this has been, I have learned that it’s not worth worrying over. Before long, the group will dismantle, and we can all move on with our lives; maybe the next group project pairings will be better. 

However, from the time grade-impacting group projects were introduced to my life–around sixth grade–up until now, my view of them has changed greatly. 

When I was younger, I would be lost in what to do, aching to get the work started, but not knowing how to initiate it while the other members of the group sat around waiting for someone to take charge.

I was very quiet when I was younger, and though I am still not the most outspoken person, I have learned from situations like group projects that there simply needs to be someone to take charge if anyone wants to get anything done. 

Group projects have taught me that I will have to collaborate and interact with a variety of people my whole life, and there will seldom be times when I will be working only with people I enjoy working with. 

And thanks to random placement in groups, I have actually met some of my closest friends after we continued to communicate after the project or experience. ”

As much as the student may not like it, group projects allow them to develop new communication and cooperation skills that will be vital in their lives and in their careers. The issue of accountability and taking responsibility for elements of the project is also addressed when students are working together and allows growth in these ways (teachhub.com). 

Having personally experienced these elements, I have adapted ways of taking control of the group when needed, subtly encouraging people to meet deadlines when necessary, and also finding new ways to come to an agreement with people I don’t normally associate myself with. 

And thanks to random placement in groups, I have actually met some of my closest friends after we continued to communicate after the project or experience. 

At first, I looked at group projects as something to dread and had preconceived notions that I wouldn’t enjoy the project while working alongside people I wouldn’t be able to relate to. But now, looking back, I realize I have learned much from my experiences working with people who had ideas or beliefs that I didn’t necessarily agree with, and it has helped me gain new perspectives, be more open-minded, helped me communicate more, and overall allowed me to learn new things about myself.