Successful virtual groups

Working in virtual groups for class assignments can sound scary but in education, it is the equivalent of working on a team in the workplace. Here are a few useful tips to help guide you into a successful virtual group experience!

  • When possible, choose group members with similar schedules to your own, recognizing other online students may live in different time zones or have conflicting schedules.
  • Be proactive and begin organizing for the assigned work early. As online learners with professional and personal obligations, your time is extremely precious.
  • Groups function well when everyone has a role. Align group roles and responsibilities with the strengths and interests of individual group members.
  • Identify the order and due dates of project activities that must be accomplished.
  • Choose a group leader who is comfortable facilitating communication and monitoring progress.
  • Communication is essential. Establish clear guidelines regarding when, where, and how your group will communicate.
  • Choose a communication platform that individuals are comfortable with, it might be best to choose from options readily available at EVMS Online.
  • Increasing communication as project deadlines draw near is a good idea.  This helps the group to address last-minute concerns and tasks.

Trouble in paradise?

Though we hope for the perfect group every time, the reality is that as individuals we do not always see eye to eye.

  • Always practice being honest and respectful in a group. If the project or a member is heading in a direction you don't agree with, it is best to speak up earlier than later.
  • Don't be afraid to talk to your instructor. Providing regular group updates can be useful to track progress and mediate concerns.
  • While some instructors already do this, you can ask your instructor to require peer evaluations. This strategy encourages equal participation by ensuring individual accountability and appropriate grade distribution.