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Research Exhibition Guide: Working in Groups

Find everything you need to prepare and succeed.

Why Is There Group Work in College Courses?

On the list of phrases that strikes fear into the hearts of students everywhere, "group work" is only slightly behind the clear winner "public speaking."  However, group work is often a component of college courses, including online courses.  

The reason why professors require group work is the same as why they require public speaking--employers want their employees to have those skills, as well as other related skills developed by working in groups/teams (and public speaking).

According to the 2019 Job Outlook report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the top 8 (ranked) skills employers want:

  1. Communication skills (written)
  2. Problem-solving skills
  3. Ability to work in a team
  4. Initiative
  5. Analytical/quantitative skills
  6. Strong work ethic
  7. Communication skills (verbal)
  8. Leadership

All student, whether online or face-to-face, need opportunities to learn and develop those skills. 

Working successfully in teams generally requires both communication skills and problem-solving skills, and students working in groups usually have opportunities to display initiative and develop leadership skills as well.

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