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Classroom Communications

To be a successful team you will need to learn to listen to other perspectives, communicate and ask questions, negotiate and problem-solve while setting goals and dividing work.  Your team will have varying skills levels, so a little patience and a calm approach will go a long way to the success of the project.

Understanding the Goal

Understand academic integrity expectations for the project. Depending on your instructor's directions, your group may all work together and present together or you will work in a group but turn in your own assignment. It's important that all members understand and abide by the rules of academic honesty. View the NBCC Academic Integrity policy.

Dividing the work

When there is a shared sense of responsibility and each member feels they have an important role, everyone is more apt to equally contribute.  Here is Group Info & Timeline Template. 

  • Make sure everyone knows everyone. Whether in a virtual class or an in-person class, make sure everyone knows each other. 
  • Analyze the task. Discuss to project and how you want to break it down, agree on expectations and create a plan on how to do it. 
  • Assign specific roles and tasks to each member. Use each individual's strengths and skills to your team's advantage and divide tasks evenly. 
  • Set up a schedule. Set a timeline for each task, the date it needs to be completed, who is completing it and set a time for your next meeting. Using MS Teams will allow you to easily meet, share, edit files and record meetings. 
  • Review the assignment tasks together. Make sure everyone has the same understanding of the work and clarify any confusion. 


Group Presentations

Presenting in a group can be harder as you need to rely on others and work together as a cohesive team to give a successful presentation.

  • Practice as a team. Know what each member is going to say, and where everyone will stand while others present.
  • Watch your time limit.  Although each person is responsible to keep to their time limit, however, you are a team if someone takes more time than expected, work together to come back on track and end professionally. This should be practiced.
  • Present as a team. Using transition phrases between each speaker such as "I have shown you..... Kyle Jones will now discuss....."  It gives a more professional feel. Most times your instructor will mark your presentation as a group so it is important to all work together as one cohesive group. 

Working Through Conflict

“Employability Skills”, “Teamwork Skills” and “People Skills” are essential skills you will need to enter and advance in the workplace. This step-by-step guide will help you to:

  • Share information to identify and solve problems
  • Appreciate others’ points of view
  • Make decisions based on creative solutions as you work with others

Conflict and tension. Since we all have opinions, they can sometimes create tension. Give each person the time to explain their viewpoint. There is often more than one way to do something, carefully look at the assignment and chose the direction based on the easiest way to include everyone and get the best result.

Not going in the same direction. Having a clear plan with a written document of each person's task will help to eliminate team members going off in their own direction. 

Silent team member. Sometimes not everyone feels comfortable speaking up in a group. When giving everyone time to speak make sure to listen and give acknowledgment to their contributions. 

When your team breaks down and you are no longer able to resolve the issues within the group, you may need to involve your instructor.