The benefits of group work
Whatever form the group work takes on your course, the opportunity to work with others, rather than on your own, can provide distinct benefits.
- Increased productivity and performance: groups that work well together can achieve much more than individuals working on their own. A broader range of skills can be applied to practical activities and sharing and discussing ideas can play a pivotal role in deepening your understanding of a particular subject area.
- Skills development: being part of a team will help you develop your interpersonal skills such as speaking and listening as well as team working skills such as leadership, and working with and motivating others. Some of these skills will be useful throughout your academic career and all are valued by employers.
- Knowing more about yourself: collaborating with others will help identify your own strengths and weaknesses (for example, you may be a better leader than listener, or you might be good at coming up with the 'big ideas' but not so good at putting them into action). Enhanced self-awareness will both help your approach to learning and will be invaluable when you come to write your CV or complete job application forms.
In order to maximise these benefits, you will need to manage your group work effectively.