Working With Partners

Posted on October 10, 2012 by

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I have very mixed opinions on partner projects. While it is great to share and gain new ideas, there is a risk that you or your group might not agree on a concept.  An idea that you feel is great and are ready to put into action might be an idea that the rest of your group dislikes, or vice-versa. Another hit or miss with partner projects is dividing up the work. Even though it is possible that everyone does their fair share of work, there are often times where a group member does not pull their weight. Both the concerns of idea sharing and equally splitting up the workload were the two main things I was worried about when Mike Gwaltney announced that out first USHRS project would be done in groups of two to three.

Almost immediately after hearing that we’d be working in groups, I turned to Clare. I turned to her for a number of reasons other than the fact that she was sitting right next to me; I get along with her, she has great ideas, and a good work ethic. We spent our first class discussing the project and brainstorming ideas on where we wanted to go with it. Having a partner who is both willing to contribute ideas and be open to your ideas makes partner projects a lot more productive and fun. Together, Clare and I were able to come up with quite a few ideas that we both agreed on.

One of the most important things that really held our project together was communication. Clare and I discussed our progress and goals at the beginning and end of each class in order to make sure we were on the same page. During the time spent working on this project, there was one day when Clare was sick and another day when I was sick, fortunately we kept contact through email. The two of us constantly emailed each other with updates on where we were with the project and what work was being completed. By constantly communicating with your partner or group, you are ensuring that everyone is aware of what is being done and what needs to be done. Communication keeps the group in agreement on decisions, productive, and on the correct track.

Dividing up the different parts of a project and deciding who does what is often a difficult task. Many times there is going to be someone who either does not pull his or her weight or does not let anyone else do anything. Fortunately, Clare and I didn’t have a problem with dividing up the workload. Not only were we both willing to equally divide up the work, but we also did a lot of planning and made deadlines for ourselves which made getting our work done a lot easier. I have worked in a lot of great groups on school projects, and this group was definitely one of them. If every group member is willing to share and be open to ideas, communicate, and do their fair share of work than a group will most likely be successful.

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Posted in: Learning, Projects