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Learning Online

Group Work Online: Study and get projects done together! 

“Where” will we meet?: McMaster subscribes to a number of tools to help you connect and learn!  

  • Microsoft Teams: Share a workspace with a newsfeed, private chats, video calls, and file-sharing. 

  • Microsoft OneNote:  Share pictures, drawings, and notes on this digital bulletin board. There are also audio recording and dictation functions. OneNote can be used in Teams for easy access.  

  • Microsoft OneDrive: Store files in the cloud and share them with individuals.   

  • Microsoft Sway: Create visually stunning presentations and newsletters online. 

How will we get stuff done? 

Build rapport: Share information to help group members understand each other.   

  • Personalities: Who thrives with deadlines? Who procrastinates? Who is shy in meetings? etc. 

  • Interests: Any shared hobbies or favourite shows on Netflix?  

  • Commitments outside of class:  Who provides care for a family member? Who works part-time? 

  • Strengths:  Who is a strong writer, organizer and/or public speaker? Who has tech skills? 

  • Weaknesses:  Who is afraid of public speaking or anxious about writing? Support each other! 

Appoint roles for meetings: Appointed roles increase efficiency. Change roles regularly.  

  • The LEADER is responsible for completing one stage in a project. In a study session, this person plans the meeting and identifies topics to discuss.  

  • The TIMEKEEPER ensures the group stays focused and does not get side-tracked. 

  • The NOTE-TAKER writes down important discussion points and records decisions that are made. Notes are shared with the group after each meeting.  

Create a project plan (for group projects) 

  1. Brainstorm all necessary tasks for completing the project. 

  1. Create a schedule by planning backwards from the due date. Plan to finish 3-5 days early to account for setbacks.  

  1. Appoint a leader for each stage of the project. Leaders must get stages done on time, but group members must help.  

  1. Set deadlines for stages of the project.  

  1. Schedule meetings for every stage of the project.  

  • Update your project plan at each meeting to reflect actual progress. 

Create a study plan (for study groups) 

  1. Review the syllabus to identify major themes for each week. 

  1. Create a schedule of meetings for the whole semester.  

  1. Appoint roles for each meeting. 


Improve your writing and study skills! Book an appointment with a writing advisor and/or academic coach on OSCARplus. Questions? Email


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