Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Group discussions

In this video Dr Adeyinke Adewale talks about the importance of working effectively in group work and what's expecting from each student.
On your degree programme, you’ll be expected to share your thoughts and perspectives in a variety of situations, for example in seminars or in tutorials or at times in lectures. Also, you may be required to share your thoughts in small groups outside of the classroom. And this typically requires you to work together with people from different cultures and diverse backgrounds in achieving a particular module objective.
In the 21st century organisation, working together in teams and working with people from diverse background has become a desirable skill employers want from their employees. Working together in teams helps you acquire that essential skill. The dynamics of your team is often not decided by your module conveners or your seminar leaders. This is typically left to students to democratically decide on how things run, for instance, selecting your group leader or deciding on who handles different portions of assignments or how things generally function within your group. For the delivery portion of your presentation, you are required to participate either by agreeing with your teammates to handle a specific portion of that presentation. It could be the introduction. It could be the conclusion.
Or could be a portion of the body of your analysis. Ultimately, you’ll be expected to participate in the smooth running and effectiveness of your group.
My secret recipe for effective or productive group work is captured in the RAID model. R, be responsible. Your group’s success is dependent on every member owning their tasks and doing what they are required to do. A, be accommodating. Different thoughts and ideas will be shared in your group, and it’s important you don’t judge others, but rather tolerate and accommodate them. I, get involved. Don’t sit on the fence. Get actively involved in every single aspect of your group work. And D, be deliberate. Be deliberate in taking on roles that minimise your weaknesses and maximise your strengths. You may be pleasantly surprised that you will get to discover interesting things about yourselves you never knew until then.
My top three tips for effective group performance for you are simply one, try to work in diverse teams. Research has shown that teams that are more diverse tend to perform better than teams that aren’t. And teams that involve or include a narrative of many of the group members tend to do better than teams that don’t involve these diverse narratives. So it’s important that you stay in groups that have people from different countries and different backgrounds, and in course, will be a fantastic learning point for you as an individual. And second thing is you must allow your thoughts and perspectives come through in your presentations.
Only recently, I was privileged to assess a group presentation in which we had people from three different continents share their thoughts on managerial styles from their continents and bringing in their unique perspectives and examples from their experiences and intertwining that with the narratives from the literature made a very beautiful presentation that they did extremely well. And that implies therefore, that it’s important that you allow your experiences and your thoughts from your backgrounds and cultures come across during your group presentations. Finally, your thoughts and perspectives are unique. Therefore, sharing your insights in your group is extremely important. The word university itself is coined from having unity in our diversity.
Hence, sharing your thoughts and making your voices heard within your groups is extremely important in helping people overcome stereotypes and also their prejudices.

Many students are surprised to find that group work is a key part of their studies in the UK. This might involve working with other students to prepare and deliver a presentation, or to write a report together. Although tutors will explain the process to you, most of the time you’ll be working without the tutor’s direct supervision.

In this video, Dr Adeyinke  Adewale  discusses some of the ways in which you’ll be expected to  engage  actively in these contexts. He gives advice on  effective  group work, and emphasises the value of  assignments  in which students from different cultures and backgrounds bring different perspectives and ideas.

This article is from the free online

Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education