I am in the first semester of my masters degree in a professional field. I have been assigned to a group with a (fake) political stance. Every week of the semester we are expected to make presentations to the class advocating our groups position in various formats (town hall, internal meeting, speech, etc.). The groups were largely assigned based on age/professional experience (many of the students in this program are working adults, but we are all just out of under-grad).

Our first meeting there was some friction about where and when to meet, one of the members even went to the wrong location then blamed the group when she was 15 minutes late.

Our first presentation was good but not nearly as professional as the other groups. Now the group wants to stop meeting in person and use Google Hangouts instead. I am very afraid this will detract from the quality of our work and probably our grade, how can I convince my fellow group mates that the extra time spent meeting in person is worth it?

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    Raise your concerns to them, and then listen to what they have to say with an open mind? What kind of solution are you expecting here?
    – ff524
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 20:02
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    Maybe you can use this as an opportunity to tell the group, "Hey, if we are going to use Google Hangouts then we need to make sure our communications are really buttoned up so we don't have any more misunderstandings."
    – Raydot
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:55
  • If you're working in a group with a number of working adults then some discussion in Google Hangouts might add the flexibility needed for discussion to really take off. Also, having a written records and syncing with calendars will be helpful - why don't you nominate someone/yourself as a secretary to arrange room bookings if that is an issue? I would be cautious about replacing face to face discussion entirely, but GH could really help.
    – Deleuze
    Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 11:37

2 Answers 2


I know this answer comes too late for you.

But I agree with your assessment. This group project is only going to sink from here. To which, I would build on one existing comment already offered to you.

Raise your concerns to them, and then listen to what they have to say with an open mind?

That being said, do not raise your concern to them as a group, raise your concerns and listen to each what has to say with an open mind, but do it individually first. If you bring this concern to them as a group, most members of your group will probably just make the most expedient decision that takes the least amount of commitment on their part, a vote will be quickly called, and then that will be the end of it.

Also, I agree that the Professor wouldn't want to be bothered with such a problem. Learning to work with unmotivated colleagues is a fact of life. This is your problem to solve, not his.


If I have understood right, you are concerned that the little bit of functionality this working group has had up until now will deteriorate even further with this change of meeting format, because you suspect that the shift to remote collaboration may signal a lack of commitment to the project.

Whenever you are assigned a work group at school, and things are not going well, you should inform the professor, keep trying to make it work, and then if things continue to go badly, inform the professor again.

In other words, inform the captain when the ship starts taking on water; do your best to keep the boat afloat; and keep a firm eye on the lifeboats.

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    The professors that I know hate to be bothered with minor frictions like this, would tell me to get my shit together and remember me negatively for it. Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 2:17

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