In the course of your online university work you are bound to have some problems arise from someone in your group not pulling their weight or being so hard to work with that nothing is getting accomplished. It may not be in your first semester or even your second, but you are likely to have one sometime. It may be you! J After doing your best to resolve the situation amicably within the group you may need to take the matter to your instructor. You don’t need to worry about tattling or anything. Your professor will be able to handle the matter professionally and with tact. Here is some advice on how to bring the issue up with him or her if the need arises.

When you contact your professor do so discretely. You’re not trying to keep things secret, but it may help you to not blow things out of proportion. Your professor may know something about the situation that may shed light upon the situation. A simple private communication that shares your concern can do much.

Only share with your instructor the behaviors, not your interpretation of them. It’s no good to try and interpret whether or not the behavior of another student means anything about your worth, it doesn’t. Just share what has been going on and how it’s affecting you and the group. This will leave out any additional bias that the teacher can do without in order to handle the situation.

Keep a kind tone. It’s important for your professor to be able to see that you’re not the one that’s hard to get along with. Complaining about the other person makes it difficult to see past your hurt feelings and get to the issue at hand. The point is not the character of the other student, it’s getting the project accomplished.

Think ahead about how you’ll proceed if the other student is taken off your group. Present to your instructor your idea of what this looks like. It shows that you really are concerned about completing the project and that you wish no animosity on the student that’s presenting a barrier to your group achieving that.

Ask if it’s alright to go ahead with your other idea and if you should include the other student or not in this plan. This will give your processor the chance to give you the thumbs up or to have you hold off until he or she can talk to the fellow student about their lack of participation or behavior in the group.

If you have been copying your professor on your group correspondence or if you have been organizing the project via an online forum, the problem may already be apparent to your professor. If not, the above are some ideas to help you successfully share the problem with him or her to work towards a speedy solution. The sooner you act the quicker things can get resolved. Remember too, always do your best to solve the problem within the group before escalating it to your professor.

Good luck with your online university group work. Not all of it will be fun, but you’ll learn a lot by addressing problems respectfully and maturely.

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