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Group Work Module

Advantages & Challenges of Group Work


Group work is commonly assigned in college. Whether you choose your group mates or not, working in a group offers many opportunities for learning and development. For instance, group work can help you:

  • Expand your understanding through group discussion and explanation.  
  • Plan and manage your time. 
  • Develop stronger communication skills through the expression of your ideas. 
  • Build relationships as it encourages communication between group members 
  • Learn to delegate roles and responsibilities. 
  • To be more open-minded and accepting of new ideas. 
  • Develop strategies for resolving conflict.
  • Obtain social support and encouragement (Carnegie Mellon University: Eberly Center, 2016, para. 5-7)


While there are many advantages, group work isn't always easy! Here are some things that can make working in groups challenging:

  • Social Loafing- Some individuals simply get away without giving any input to the project at hand. Gaining credit for academic work you did not complete can result in an academic integrity breach.
  • No independent input- Individual ideas and opinions may get lost because the presence of numerous team members and their ideas
  •  Loss of individual creativity- Creativity is likely to get lost when group thinking is given more precedence and importance.
  • Unequal division of work- Work may get divided in a way that some individuals get burdened with most of the work and the others get much less in comparison which may lead to conflict later on.
  • Groupthink- Groupthink occurs when well-intentioned individuals make irrational or non-optimal decisions to minimize conflict which could lead to loss of originality (Psychology today, n.d.)