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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab



Your first priority is to get on task at your first meeting. Use these guidelines to help you achieve this goal.

  • Introduce yourselves: talk about the strengths you bring to the group, and your hopes for the work the group does together
  • Brainstorm the task: each person in the group articulates their understanding of the goal, come to a general consensus on what is required
  • Nominate a group leader: the leader acts for the whole period of the project, or for a certain period of time, e.g. the next three weeks
  • Nominate a note-taker: this person is responsible for the agenda and the notes of the meeting
  • Nominate a reflector: this person identifies and raises issues affecting the group
  • Develop an agenda: include topics to be discussed, and action required, by whom and when
  • Define the research tasks: the group decides what the tasks are, and allocates them among the members
  • Develop a timeline: include times specific tasks need to be completed
  • Decide on a means of communication: Google docs, a wiki, email, instant messaging, phone etc. and exchange names and contact details
  • Timetable meetings that fit in with everyone’s schedule: set the dates, times and place; recorded details
  • Set out a group charter together: agree on a set of principles and expectations regarding behaviour of each group member. 

Sharing ideas


People sharing ideas around a table

Allocate time at each meeting to:

  • report on your work: what you have done, what you have learned, what you still need to do
  • address problems and talk about possible solutions (product and process problems) as they emerge
  • ensure everyone has a chance to speak without interruption
  • make decisions about individual responsibilities for actions; e.g. the development of the group’s points for the report / presentation
  • address the issue of members not contributing ideas, if relevant, and stress that all opinions are needed and valued.



The leader is responsible for:

  • facilitating (not dominating) discussion in the group
  • keeping discussion at meetings on track and to the point
  • making a final decision when group cannot resolve issues 
  • calling on the support of a lecturer or tutor to mediate unresolved conflict
  • ensuring that meetings follow the agenda
  • assuring that notes from meetings are sent to group members
  • maintaining an overview of group processes.


The note-taker is responsible for:

  • taking notes of items discussed at meetings, actions decided on, and people responsible for those actions
  • writing out the group’s understanding of the assignment task
  • making a list of the allocation of tasks and the due date
  • keeping a list of contact details of group members
  • distributing these notes via agreed communication channels
  • sending out agenda before meetings.


The reflector is responsible for:

  • identifying and raising issues that are affecting the group
  • acknowledging areas of conflict in the group
  • maintaining an overview of the groups’ progress
  • speaking up about possible problems regarding projected time lines.