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Types of assignments

This guide will explain the types of assignment required at USW. Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn a Gymraeg

Groupwork books

Group Work - what is the point?

Progression Advice Team: Group work - what is the point? 
A useful overview of groupwork from USW Progression Team.

Quick tip

Make the most of technology
to help you communicate, plan and record your activities use MS Teams, to meet online, share calendars to organise meetings, use mindmapping tools to plan the project, use to-do lists to organise the workload and share your plan in a Microsoft 365 Word document.

Further reading

Group work
For further help see our online reading list.

Why work in a group?

An element of groupwork will be expected in most university courses. In addition, as most employers will be looking for people who can 'work with others', it is relevant to the workplace and life after university. These skills include:

  • Communication
  • Organisation
  • Planning
  • Time management
  • Collaboration and Cooperation
  • Problem-solving

Effective groupwork

  1. Communication -  the success of a group project will depend on team members communicating well. Problems can arise in groups if members feel they are misunderstood or communications are poor. This includes creating some ground rules from the start of the project so that everyone understands what is expected of them.
  2. Organisation - deciding who does what, and in what timescale is a crucial part of the project. Firstly, though the group needs to make sure everyone has understood the project brief, including the timescale.
  3. Allocating tasks - once the assignment is understood, then it can be broken down into manageable tasks, which can be assigned to members of the group. This is where an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the group in crucial. Initially, tasks are allocated based on an individual’s expertise, but depending on the project, it might be necessary to assign tasks, where new skills have to be developed.
  4. Planning and time management - once the tasks are allocated they need to be put into a plan with the named people and timescales, so that everything is covered in the best order.  
  5. Collaboration and cooperation - try and make sure that the work is shared equally or this could store up problems and resentments later on. If a group member isn't contributing to the project, try to find out why.  It could be that they do not fully understand the project or their task and may need clarification or help. It is better to try and establish the problem early, so that the person can complete their task, rather than ignoring it and having others take over later. 
  6. Problem-solving - is the process by which a problem is resolved by working through a situation. It is one of the positive outcomes of groups collaboration and cooperation, as team members bring their complementary skills and strengths to develop the best solutions to the problem. 

Academic integrity - collusion

The avoidance of collusion is an important aspect of Academic integrity. Collusion occurs when students work together on an individual assignment and submit the work as their own. Your groupwork brief will help you understand which aspects of the groupwork can be tackled collaboratively and which cannot. 

The University has a page with information and guidance on Academic misconduct and Academic integrity, including information about collusion and good academic practice.