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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab



Good planning lays the groundwork for successfully completing the task.

Starting a group project is the same as starting an individual project. You will need to:

  • analyse the task
  • determine what needs to be done
  • create a plan for completing the task.

It is important to establish good working relationships at the beginning, with protocols and agreements for communication, behaviour and responsibilities. Good communication is especially important for online groups.


Strategy 1: Analyse the task as a group

  • Agree on what the task is asking you to do. Review the task instructions, marking criteria/rubric and any other information you have.
  • Identify if the task has to be completed in a particular order (e.g. parts 3 or 4 rely on work done for parts 1 and 2). This determines how you might plan your timeline and delegate responsibilities for completing the assignment.

    If your group has any questions about the task, contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

    Check out Starting my first assignment and for more advice on planning.



Strategy 2: Create a timeline

    • Assess the time required for a group assignment.

      Groups often underestimate how long an assignment may take. A timeline identifies key milestones and helps you manage the workload to meet deadlines. Be realistic and be prepared to adapt your timeline as you progress.

      Members of online groups may be working in different time zones. Factor this into your timeline.
    • Include enough time for research. Your research will be a large part of the task. You may also need to allow time for additional research during the drafting/production stage of the task.
    • Allow time for drafting and producing the final product. Editing and proofreading is an important final stage of any task. Allow time for the group to review the overall product for accuracy and consistency to ensure you are presenting your best efforts.

      The example below shows a group’s schedule over six weeks. Some group work tasks may last a whole semester.

      Time    Task management People management
      Week 1
      • Analyse task
      • Share understanding
      • Divide assignment into tasks
      • Allocate roles/responsibilities
      • Form group - share contact details
      • Agree on group protocols
      • Record meeting decisions and create agenda for next meeting
      Week 2
      • Commence research
      • Share research data
      • Group meeting
      Week 3
      • Review progress against timeline
      • Review task completion
      • Report on findings
      • Collate information
      • Reallocate tasks if required
      • Group meeting
      Week 4  
      • Group meeting
      Week 5  
      • Group meeting
      Week 6
      • Final edit and proof
      • Submit on time
      • Group meeting

      Use the assignment planner to create a draft schedule.


    Strategy 3: Schedule regular meetings