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Collaboration Resources

Guide which pulls together tools and techniques for successful collaborative projects.

Tips for Effective Teamwork

The success, or failure, of group projects is determined by the ways in which members of the team interact with each other. 

In order for collaboration to be successful, a team must have:

  • openness

Members of a team must be willing to work together on a project in order to ensure its success. Sometimes this means putting aside all differences to focus on the common task. Members must be open to new ideas and perspectives, and be willing to share their own ideas and perspectives with others.

  • honesty

Members of a team should be willing to share their own perspectives honestly without fear of judgment from others in the group. 

  • professionalism

Team members should show respect and professionalism in all manner of communication with teammates. View our Netiquette guide to see tips for effective communication in the digital environment.

  • trust

Members of a team should be able to trust each other in order to share experiences and viewpoints. Members should keep information discussed in the group setting within the group, and should not recount the anecdotes and experiences of other group members outside of the group environment.

  • accountability

Each member of the team is responsible for the success of the project. Some team members prefer to take leadership positions within the group, but every member must contribute in order for the project to be a success. There should be some measure of accountability within the group to ensure that every member participates. Sometimes this accountability is put in place by the assignment requirements or your instructor.

  • time management skills

In a group setting, team members may have to negotiate around personal, work, and school-related responsibilities in order to complete a project by its deadline. Team members should work first to develop a solid plan of action in order to complete the project together. The Resources section of this guide can also provide you with software options to help you collaborate outside of the classroom environment. Exchanging contact information with teammates and developing a schedule of meetings as a first step can help you stay on track.

  • distinct roles

Some group members are natural leaders. Some group members like to keep things organized. Some group members like to build presentations. Others may prefer public speaking. Work together to determine what "jobs" are needed in order to successfully complete the project, and make sure each group member has a distinct role and is aware of his/her responsibilities in that role.