A group of students working together

Working together

Working with others

At first, when I did group work I needed to read a lot before so I had something in my mind and can say something. Also with British students - sometimes they spoke fast. I can hardly understand and most of the time I was silent. Now I am used to it and speak. - Yao

At some point during your studies in the UK it is likely that you will be asked to work with other students. There may be various occasions when your tutor asks you to do this. For example, you may be asked to collaborate with other students in a group project or work together with another student to prepare and deliver a joint presentation in a seminar.

In this activity you will think about what collaboration can involve in an academic situation and explore some of the skills students need for working together successfully.

ActivitySkills for collaborating

Working successfully with others requires practical as well as personal skills. One of the main advantages of working with others is that you can benefit from the skills of others that you may not have yourself, and share your own skills. In this activity you are going to solve a puzzle and explore some of the typical challenges of working in a group. Nine students have been instructed by their tutor to work in three groups of three to perform a course task. Your task is to decide on the best way to form the three groups taking into account the students' personalities and different skills, so that they complement each other.

Instruction icon


Think about the personalities and skills of the different students and decide who should be in each group. Move each student into an appropriate group. One member of each group has already been selected. When you have solved the puzzle, read the feedback.

Student group 1Student group 1
Naomi is good at generating ideas but gives up easily when a task is difficult.
Student group 2Student group 2
Stefano is conscientious and good at making sure that tasks get finished.
Student group 3Student group 3
Cindy can lead discussions but is a little argumentative.
Andrea is talkative and can criticise without offending others.
Betty is good at sorting out disagreements and developing others' ideas.
Francis has lots of good ideas but is a bit disorganised and rather shy.
Lei encourages others to speak but is not a good time keeper.
Tomas will always persevere with a challenge but has very strong opinions.
Weng is a good listener and able to summarise at the end of a meeting.

Would you like to review the main points?