They’re Not All That Bad Sometimes: A Personal Reflection of a Successful Group Project, Part Two

Hi readers! Today, we will continue with Cadence Dingler’s guest post about collaboration and her tips on how to successfully navigate group projects. 

guest4“The Steps We Took…

First, we settled on the idea of creating an incentive program, called ‘Write Stuff, Win Stuff’, hosted by the Writing Center. The idea behind ‘Write Stuff, Win Stuff’ was that a student would come into the Writing Center, take a selfie with their consultant after they had worked on a paper or an assignment, and then post the picture to Facebook, tagging the Writing Center in the picture. In the post, the student who came in would have to say what they worked on with their consultant. In early May, they would then be entered in a drawing to win one of five $25 gift cards to their choice of The Root, Pandora’s, or Barnes and Noble.

For this incentive program, we had to boost awareness through various posters, hung in all of the academic buildings, and digital boards, displayed in Moseley and the Writing Center area. We even decided to create a Facebook event. Through the Facebook event, we invited hundreds of Elon students to participate in our ‘Write Stuff, Win Stuff’. We received several ‘accepted’ invitations to the event, and soon enough, the Writing Center was being tagged in pictures of students taking a selfie with their Writing Center consultant.


The second element for the client project was an infographic. Using InDesign, Sarah put together three incredible infographics that perfectly depicted what the Writing Center was all about. With the infographics and ‘Write Stuff, Win Stuff’, it was clear that we had put together a suitable project that had met all of Paula’s needs for the Writing Center client project.ex2

Having Met Our Final Goals…

By the end of the project, Sarah, Kelley, and I, were very successful in meeting our goals and requirements. We managed to increase the likes on the Writing Center’s Facebook page from 170 to 251, in a matter of a few short weeks. We provided an amazing opportunity to students by hosting an event where, all they had to was come into the Writing Center, work on a paper with a consultant, and then take a picture with their consultant. After doing this, they would be entered to win one of five $25 gift cards to The Root, Pandora’s, or Barnes and Noble. Through our info graphics, we showed that anyone can come to the Writing Center. We proved that it’s not just a place for freshman students who are remedial in their writing abilities; it’s a place for collaboration, where one can expect their writing to be enhanced for the long run.

As with most group projects, the client project was, at first, an intimidating feat. However, in the end, the Writing Center group was successful making our client happy and getting done what was asked to get done.  We made beautiful posters, digital boards, and worked collaboratively to come up with the idea for the incentive program.


What You Can Do…

While not all group projects go as smoothly as mine did, there are certain things one can do to make the process less painful. First, take a breather. Remember to communicate openly with your group. There were many times where the Writing Center project could have gone in the wrong direction, if Sarah, Kelley, and I had not been completely open and honest with one another. Keep your nose to the grindstone, and never get discouraged. At the beginning of the semester, I was stressed out with other classes, and just mere thought of a group project sent my heart racing with anxiety. After about a week into the project, I realized that I was overreacting, and that I had nothing to feel anxious about; I was in good hands. Look on the bright side, and try to see the good in every group project. You might not be as lucky as I was, but hold onto the hope that you might be one day!”

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One Comment

  1. Posted September 2, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    This two part reflection on group projects could not have been put any better. I really appreciate and agree with the characterization of the types of group projects that exist and the ways that you can work within varied groups. Personally, I have been fortunate enough to have had group projects where communication flowed easily and collaboration happened naturally. However, in other situations I have found myself beyond frustrated with a particular group. I do believe that there is some middle ground, though- a group where ineffective communication seems to be constant but where, with encouragement to discuss individual strengths and worries, it does improve. Sometimes, you do get “lucky” but great groups don’t always start that way. Sometimes if a member of the group is willing to get students to open up about their particular strengths, the students might each find that they can enjoy (or at least be good at and complete) a part of a project. Additionally, in regards to the “Write Stuff, Win Stuff” project, I have to say that it was executed really impressively. I had a couple people come into the writing center for an appointment with me eager to enter the contest. And I also had some friends considering going to the writing center during that time, who had never before thought about it. Your point about incentive for the students seemed to work well, and that concept ties in nicely with your reflection on group projects in general. If all students saw some “incentive” in working with group members, whether that is the grade, getting to play to his/her own strengths in the project, or some other form of motivation, they might be more willing to engage.