The pandemic has completely altered the way we work. People in the professional world all the way to elementary schoolers have been forced to work, learn and collaborate in an online environment. For college students especially, this can be very difficult due to heavy workloads and busy schedules. Collaborating effectively on group assignments can be tricky during this time, but here are several tips to ensure that you and your teammates ace the next big project.

1. Communication is key

Communication is essential to working in a group. Making sure that you and your partners are all on the same page is probably the most important aspect of group work. Before you start, make sure to get the contact info of your team members. You can create a group chat over the phone, or use a platform like GroupMe to make a group chat where you can easily send and receive documents.

2. Use online tools

There are tons of online tools out there that can help you nail your group projects. Instead of editing a word document or a PowerPoint and sending it back and forth between your team members, try using platforms like Google Drive. There you can all edit and add content to your projects in one place. If you’re working with large files, try using Dropbox to share them with your team.

3. Stay organized

Organization is always a good thing when doing your schoolwork, but it’s even more important when you’re working with a group. Creating a calendar for your team can be one of the best ways to stay on top of things and make sure everyone is keeping up with their work. You can easily make a shareable calendar on Google Calendar for free. Write down your due dates and deadlines and set up meeting times to check in with your team.

4. Use Free Resources

SU has some great free resources for students to use. With your netid and password, you can download Microsoft Office applications for free. Microsoft To Do can be a great tool for both group work and for personal productivity. You can create To Do lists and track tasks by setting deadlines. Once you’ve made a To Do list, you can share it with your team members to collaborate and check off tasks as you go. You can also use Microsoft Teams to host your meetings. It is free to use with your netid and password, and you can easily set up meetings with your SU email through Outlook.

5. Divide and Conquer

Meet with your group and figure out how to divide up the work. It’s important to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and divide up the tasks based on your skills. Hold each other accountable to make the deadlines and good luck!

Written by Noah Lowy ’21, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications