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Editorial: Communicate with your group members

Before finals season, college students are inundated with papers, assignments and dreaded group projects.

Everyone understands that this is the busiest time of the semester, but there are several practices to make it easier on other group members. The number one thing: communicate.

Group chats, whether it’s through texting, GroupMe or even an email chain, should be established sooner rather than later and — more importantly — utilized throughout the duration of the project. It’s a great way to keep each other updated and accountable for meetings and deadlines.

Additionally, a shared Google Drive or folder can be helpful in keeping sections and materials for the project organized. Shared documents make it simple to assign roles to members and keep track of who is making significant contributions to the assignment.

Questions and issues are bound to arise, but that’s where group members can come in handy. Address these concerns as soon as they arise rather than waiting until the last minute before a deadline.

Being mindful of other people’s schedules and availability is also an asset; however, everyone is still expected to work on the assignment. If a member is not pulling their weight, message them directly to check in. If that doesn’t work, then it may be best to bring up the situation with your professor, especially if everyone receives the same grade in the end.

For example, the public relations and advertising capstone requires an intense amount of group work throughout the semester. If the members of the group fail to communicate with each other, then the campaigns may be incohesive, ineffective and incoherent.

There are many capstone projects throughout the different majors at the university that require similar amounts of effort and collaboration.

In comparison, an end-of-the-semester group project encompassing a paper and a presentation with one or two weeks of intermittent communication doesn’t seem too challenging.

Either way, your performance might catch up to you when peer reviews come out. Your classmates don’t need to be shy in those — and that’s one grade that you can’t do last-minute.

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