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SMU Libraries

Online Learning Is Different! Top 5 Hacks: #4 Online Group Work

This guide provides practical tips for you to get ready for online learning in Term 1.

At a Glance

Group projects are not the most fun thing and online group projects have even more challenges. Read on to find out how you can conquer these challenges in a virtual team!

Give Them a Read!

Books Corner

Recommended Tools

Wondering how you can meet your group mates online?  Here are the top 3  tools and apps that can help you discuss, allocate tasks and efficiently collaborate with your group mates online!

1. Telegram

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Telegram is the most used messaging app by students in SMU. It is often used for group projects, online collaborations or simply for entertainment use!. Telegram's cloud service allows users to send, access and download files from any platform device with ease. Moreover, you may make use of its tools - such as creating polls for efficient decision making among your peers. Its recent introduction of 'Chat Folders' also allows you to easily organize your group chats in however you like! 

There are some bots you can use as well (Type these into your Telegram search bar and they will show up!):

@countmeinbot: Create polls

@SMUTimetableBot: Find common free time slots within your group and check on your upcoming lessons and exams

2. Asana

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Asana is designed to help teams organize, track and manage your work. With its customizable and user friendly page, Asana will be a great tool for you to manage your project timeline. In essence, it acts as an online calendar for you and your team. Asana is available both as a mobile phone application and on the web.

3. Google Apps

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G Suite is a suite of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google. Through your SMU email address, you will be able to access these tools and consolidate your works effortlessly.

How do I log into Google Apps?

Tips for Successful Virtual Team Facilitation

Need more information? Click on the image to find out 8 tips to successful virtual team meetings!

Tired of Reading? Watch These Videos!

To start off working in groups:

  • Dedicate and assign roles according to strength but be flexible and allow room for learning.
  • Manage expectations by setting out rules.

What matters for project planning: 

  • Make sure all members are on the same page for purpose, goals and approach.
  • Schedule constant check ins to make sure that the group is working towards the right direction.

Teamwork is collaborating and coordinating with people of all backgrounds, where cultural barriers and different end goals would always act as hindrances. However, the above needs to be resolved as teaming is a necessary skill in today's world. To do so, let's:

  • Be humble in the face of the challenges ahead 
  • Be willing to take risks and to learn quickly 
  • Always stay curious about what others can bring to the team

What makes a successful team:

  • Innovating faster
  • Achieving higher productivity 
  • Findiing better solutions to problems 

To achieve the above:

  • Allow team members to have equal proportion of contribution
  • Have high social sensitivity
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