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To: Ms.

Evan
From: Christopher Sonnek
Date: 10/27/16
Subject: Group Work Activity Report

Group projects or papers can be very good and very bad. Some people prefer working in groups
and some people would rather work alone. It all depends on whos in the group ad what they
bring to the table. The first article I found talks about how the formation of a group can have a
huge effect on the project all together. For example randomly formed groups are quick and easy
to form. It is also a great way for students to get to know each other. However there is no
guarantee that these students will work well together or that they have the skills necessary to
complete the project. A student formed group is a preferred one because the students can chose to
work with their friends. They can also chose to work with people that they have worked well
with before. However in group projects the students need to shift the mentality from a social
aspect to a project quality one. This also doesnt help students learn how to work with people
they havent met before. The third method is teacher formed groups. This allows the teacher to
pair students that would work well together based on their skills. It can also give students who
are struggling a group member who is doing well.
Another article I found talks about three steps that can lead to a successful group project. The
first step is Set some ground rules. Decide who will do what by when and make sure that
everyone commits to doing their part. Lay out a method for how, when and how often you will
communicate as a group. Use texts, e-mail, Dropbox and Google docs to make sure your team is
on the same page. (Ohrt 2010) This is a crucial step when it comes to group projects because
you want everyone involved on the same page. There needs to be coordination. The second step
is Get to know your group members and understand their commitments. What are they involved
in on campus? What do they have going on in their other classes? This part is especially vital to
understanding how to divide up workloads. But dont just stop at learning about their
commitments. Building relationships with your group members shows them that they are
important to the team and will strengthen their loyalty to the project. (Ohrt 2010) Getting to
know your group mates can increase the morale of the group and make members motivated to do
their best work so they dont let their teammates down. The final step is Dont be afraid to step
up and be the team coordinator. This doesnt mean that you need to be the taskmaster or the
one who does all the work. Its a role that you can fulfill simply by keeping track of the groups
progress and facilitating communication. (Ohrt 2012) Every group needs some sort of leader.
Someone who doesnt boss others around but keeps the group focused and accountable.
Someone who makes sure that everyone is on the same page. This is a crucial part of a group
project.
A positive experience group project experience I had was last spring in one of my Sport
Management classes. Our project was to create and host an event. The options were wide open.

There were barely any restrictions. There were 3 of us in the group and we ended up hosting a
skills competition in the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse at NDSU. The experience was a great one
because we worked well as a group. We got to know each other and became friends throughout
the process. We were putting together something we enjoyed so we made sure to do our best
work. We were constantly communicating and keeping each other accountable. We divided up
tasks and knew what we needed to do. Because of our teamwork the event was a success. A poor
experience I had with a group paper was freshman year of college. I was put into a group with
people I had not known previously and we were assigned a ten page research paper. The
experience wasnt a good one because tow of the four group members didnt end up doing their
parts. We had an original meeting to go over the assignment but that was the only time we all met
in person. We communicated over emails but there was one individuals who never was involved
in the conversations. One group member tried to take over that leadership role but he didnt
really do much. He assigned the roles and then didnt hold people accountable until the night
before it was due. Overall we didnt do too badly on the paper but it wasnt a fun experience.
In most of my group projects I take the role of the coordinator or leader. I dont boss people
around I just start communication between group members and make sure roles are assigned and
tasks are divided up. From there I make sure that we are in constant communication with each
other and that each group member is held accountable. This is the case when I am in a group
with people I do not know. When I work in groups with my friends I still take on that coordinator
role but I am more trusting in my group members so it is not as formal as a process to divide up
work and keep people accountable for their actions. Since we are friends we dont want to hurt
each others grades so we try and do our best work. If there is someone who stands out as the
leader instantly I will take more of a researcher role. I will volunteer to do anything that the
group needs to get done so the process goes smoothly. I have no problem taking a back seat in a
project.
Within group projects I bring a sense of focus and determination. I like to stay on tasks and to
constantly be checking in on my group mates to make sure that they are on top of their
responsibilities. Even when working with friends I like to have the mentality that this isnt a
social project its about production the best quality work. I also bring leadership qualities to a
group project. I like to take charge and lead from the back. This means that I am not up bossing
others around but rather helping them out if they are struggling with their part. I like making sure
that everyone is comfortable with their role and knows what is expected from them in the project
and for them to know that I am an accountable person who they can depend on for quality work.

Sources

Weimer, M. (2013, July 31). Better Group Work Experiences Begin with How the
Groups Are Formed. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from
http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/better-group-workexperiences-begin-with-how-the-groups-are-formed/
Ohrt, B. E. (2010, May 07). Three simple steps to group project success - The Tech.
Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N25/ohrt.html