The Pros and Cons of Online Group Projects:

Everything comes with its good and bad sides, same is the case of online group projects. Although collaboration positively impacts academic performance, communication and confidence, it has its downsides too. With the rising number of online courses, there are more and more students working in a group collaboratively on a project. However, there is a growing debate about whether online group projects are beneficial or pose more challenges for students and instructors. Let’s discuss some of the key advantages and disadvantages of online group projects. 

Pros of online group projects 

There is a famous quote, “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together”. This quote sums it all that, group collaboration has a lot of advantages for students. Let’s have a look at some of the key benefits of online group projects. 

Creativity and problem-solving approach 

When you are working in a group, you have more ideas to implement. It brings creativity and is effective for problem-solving tasks because different techniques are employed for solving a task. There is a famous phrase that two heads are better than one, therefore, it is better to take and respect other group members’ opinions while working on an online group project. Nowadays, you can also take ‘online class help’ with group projects where experts share their opinions and bring creativity on your behalf. 

Teamwork spirit 

Working on an online group project stimulates a teamwork spirit. Students get to solve the tasks which they are unable to complete alone. When you have other members collaborating and helping each other then chances of getting to a fruitful end increase multifold. In short, it enhances productivity and boosts the confidence of students. It is a great way of learning and improving communication and interpersonal skills. 

Conflict management 

In an online group project, just like all other projects, there will be conflicts. As every student in an online setting has a different mindset with different backgrounds, therefore, the perspectives differ. When one person’s opinion is not regraded and implemented in a group then this can cause conflict but when you work in a group you learn how to tackle such situations. You get to know how to respect other’s opinions and politely agree to disagree. Even if you are not actively involved in it, you get to learn from other team members about conflict management.

Effective Communication 

It might sound a little weird at first but online group projects do give space for effective communication. For instance, many introvert students often do not communicate in a physical setting but they do so in an online medium. It is easier to add your input to the group discussions through messages or emails. In addition, most of the time one person keeps on speaking and does not let others say anything. But in a virtual interface, every member can contribute and add their inputs effectively to be heard. 

Cons of online group projects 

Just like classroom group projects, online ones also have some disadvantages. Some of the main cons associated with online groups are discussed below. 

Lack of accountability 

When you are working on an online group project, every person does not take as much responsibility as the others. Team members feel less accountable and often put pressure on a few of them. This behaviour is detrimental to every member because the overall productivity of the group decreases. In group projects, it is very common that some students carry most of the workload while others stay relaxed and do not actively participate. This unequal participation is a big hurdle to the success of the online group project. 


Online group projects can sometimes be very time-consuming because everyone’s schedule is different. Unlike traditional group projects, where every person is available in person to discuss the tasks, online group projects lack this. People collaborate from all over the world with different time zones, therefore, it is difficult to get everyone in online discussions for group projects at the same time. 

Tone interpretation 

Interpreting the tone of the message negatively is a common problem in online group projects. Students often do not mean it that way. In an online setting, when you send a message in a discussion forum or an email the chances are that other people negatively interpret your tone if there is any such element. This can lead to bad communication or end up in a heated argument. To avoid this, members must be extra cautious while communicating in an online setting, otherwise, conflicts could arise. 

Lack of immediate response

When you are in an in-person group project, everyone is physically present there and you get your queries answered immediately. In an online setting, this is not the case. You send a message in a discussion forum or through an email but there is no guarantee that you will get a prompt response. Moreover, in groups, if people do not feel like answering you they will simply avoid or ignore your message and leave it to others to reply which causes delay and can be extremely frustrating. 


Navigating Group Collaboration 

In an online group project, there must be some rules and regulations set by the group leader. Every member must take an active part in properly adhering to the rules. In addition, every opinion of team members must be appreciated and respected. No one must be judged for their opinion and conflicts must be dealt with calmness and effective communication. 


To sum up, online group projects are crucial for enhancing collaboration among students. These groups bring creativity and innovation and also help students solve problems which they cannot do so on an individual basis. There are many new skills which students can learn through online collaboration such as teamwork spirit, problem-solving approach and conflict management. Nevertheless, there are also some disadvantages of online group projects such as the lack of accountability of students to do work. In addition, miscommunication and negative tone interpretation are also very common problems. 

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