Successfully working in groups in any setting (online or face-to-face) requires good communication. Many problems that arise when working in groups are due to group members not communicating at all or group members ignoring other members' attempts to communicate.
If your professor has assigned group work in your course, he/she will assist you in communicating with your group members. However, professors are not mind readers and will not know if group members are not communicating (or not contributing) without the other students reporting it.
Tips for communicating with fellow students:
- Don't wait for other students in the group to initiate communication
- Make contact often
- Discuss and agree on a primary means of communication--email, text, social media, etc.
- Discuss work/school/family schedules and agree on timeframes for returning messages
- Be specific in what each group member will do and what group members can expect from the others
- Keep messages short
Tips for communicating with professors:
- Use the professor's preferred means of communication (usually school email--this is likely stated in the course syllabus)
- Be specific and detailed with your questions
- Contact the professor quickly about problems with a group member(s)--don't wait until close to the project/assignment due date
- Make contact often--your professors want to help you be successful