In this article I will be discussing;
- What are the things that make group assignment a failure?
- What are the areas that need to be monitored?
- What are the ways to be a good monitor of a group?
Usually, in educational institutions teachers assign some task or written assignments to some students and ask them to work on it collectively. But sometimes it happens that the group work assignments seem very repulsive to some students. They try to avoid it and prefer individual works to group work. The reason behind it is their past experience of group work that was an utter disappointment and caused them a great deal of tension. Why? Because the group members were not cooperative. They did not take the pains equally. Some group members wanted to get the work done by others alone and they remain idle all the time. And the most common drawback that a group work can face is the last minute assignment. The group members kept on putting the work on the last minute and the deadline had approached. All of them had to face a great deal of tension because they did not seem to meet the deadline. Completing an assignment at the last minute does not only cause tension and anxiety, but it also makes a shoddy assignment. This assignment does not reflect your full potential because it fails to get the best of your ability. In these circumstances monitoring a group in the assignment becomes a very important thing. A good monitoring removes all these hurdles and paves the way to make an excellent group assignment that reflects the full potential of the group members.
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Before discussing the ways to monitor a group in an assignment, one should know the psyche behind the working of a group. There are many reasons for the failure of a group work assignment. The main reason for their failure is that they are unable to manage time. They leave every task on the last minute and when the deadline comes the last minute haste causes them anxiety and tension.
Why students fail at managing time and leave everything at the last minute? One of the reasons of this problem can be that they do not have enough confidence to manage themselves as well as other group members. They do not have confidence because they are not boss of their members. At the same time, they are not working under any boss. So they hesitate while directing other group members. Also, they get annoyed if the other person tries to direct them. They think that why they should be dictated if they all are of the same status. There is no hierarchy hence there should not be any dictator.
As collectivism is the key role in group assignment, sometimes students fail to make decisions collectively. Everyone has his own opinion so it becomes hard to come to some conclusion. When everyone expresses his opinion, anarchy can be created within the group. And if no one expresses his opinion due to the fear of some brawl, decisions are halted to be made.
Students find themselves unable to deal with problems and quarrels. They remain at some distant with each other to avoid conflicts. In this case, again the work or assignment becomes delayed until the deadline starts ringing its bell. The last-minute haste causes a lot of trouble and the assignment is done carelessly.
So to avoid these unfavorable circumstances good monitoring becomes crucial as it ensures harmony between group members as well as an excellent outcome in the form of an excellent assignment. Hence it will also be able to earn good grades.
Good monitoring does not mean that there will be no conflicts between the group members but it means that if there would be any conflicts it will provide solutions to solve them out. It enhances the group members' confidence to speak out their heart in case they are being hesitant to show their opinion. It paves the way for a better coordination and harmony among the group members.
The only goal that a monitor should set in the first place is the time management. Most group assignments result in an utter failure due to poor time management. The group members remain careless putting every task at the last minute. They do not cooperate with each other, right decisions are not made at the right time causing wastage of time. And in this way, many students do not realize that time is flying like a bird. If it will fly away you may not be able to catch it again. So be vigilant before it's too late.
The first task that being a monitor you should work on is to make a framework. This framework will provide a plan that will include task sharing and timings. If you will not pre-plan your framework, your group members will not be able to know what to do and how to do. However, make your framework as flexible as you can. Let the members know that your framework is flexible because you can also consider their opinion if you all will agree with it.
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Your role as a leader:
Your role being a monitor of the group is to be a leader. You are going to lead the group, yet at the same time, you are as equal as any other group member. Make sure your attitude may not become bossy as it may cause a rift within your group members. They may think that your attitude is that of a dictator. So be careful while directing them. Listen to their opinions and answer their queries time to time.
Being a monitor your duty is to facilitate communication within your group. You can make a group on WhatsApp or on any social media website by taking contact numbers from the members for better communication. Ask the members to project their ideas and thoughts about the project or assignment.
For a monitor, your duty is to be a coordinator between your group members. If there is a lack of coordination, set up some meetings time to time to make the members comfortable with each other. Ask them to sit in a pair and discuss the assigned task. If one group member cannot get access to the group on social media be a good coordinator between him/her and the other members.
Feedback is something that will be a marker of your contribution and effort. If a group member is being vigilant, praise him or her. If a member is not putting efforts as much as he needs to put, discuss it with him immediately. This will also enhance the overall efficiency of the group. Also, it will show you as the most active member.
Always keep a balance between the works that you are going to share among the group members. Make sure you are not overburdening one and making it way easier for the other. Equal distribution of the work is the key to an excellent project assignment. While distributing the work, do not make distinctions between your friends and the others. Remain objective and take every member of the group with equal manner.