Study Tips: How to do effective group work

Working in a group can be a challenge at first – especially for international students, where there can be language barriers and cultural differences.

However, love it or hate it, group work is a key part of studying in the US or UK. So how can you make the most of it? Chip Pham, of INTO Colorado State University, shares her advice… UEA_London_study_group_8380

I have to be honest – when I first arrived at Colorado State University as an international student, I didn’t like doing team work. I worried about working with people I didn’t know – how could I trust them? How could I know that they would all work hard? I felt that I’d rather work on my own. However, my first experience of working in a group at CSU totally changed my perspective on things.

ESSENTIAL ENGLISH/ENGLISH UG STUDYOur group was comprised of both American and Vietnamese students. We learned a lot from each other by sharing our different cultural perspectives. As different people in a group have a range of experiences and backgrounds, they can come up with a variety of creative ways to solve problems. It’s definitely true that “more hands make for lighter work” and “two heads are better than one”.

Working in a group helped me to step out of my comfort zone, try something new, discuss my opinions, meet new friends, and practice leadership skills. After a semester working with my classmates I’d developed some important soft skills like problem solving, teamwork and communication.INTO CSU at Colorado State University

But if you’re feeling nervous about the idea of working in a group, I’ve asked CSU instructors Karen Duncan and Nancy Berry to share some tips:

Tip 1: Divide the work – assign roles for group members based on their strengths.

Tip 2: Listen actively, ask questions, and contribute ideas to the discussion.

Tip 3: Be open minded and flexible to others’ ideas. You can learn more than you might expect.

Hope that helps! Remember, group work is like anything else – the more you do it the better you’ll get. And I can honestly say that after I graduated and stepped into a professional working environment, the skills I learned helped me to better complete my tasks and get along with my coworkers. I’m glad that I tried to get the most out of my group work experiences.

Find out more about studying at INTO Colorado State University.

Want more study tips for international students? Here’s some secrets to writing a great essay and 6 skills for university success.

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3 Responses

  1. April 17, 2016

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  2. January 17, 2017

    […] learning how to work well in a group is an essential part of university […]

  3. January 17, 2017

    […] might also like: How to do effective group work, 6 skills for university success and What’s your learning […]

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