- If your course enrollment is high, consider using sections or group discussions to make the conversation more intimate and reading all posts more manageable (and likely) for students. Create several discussion group sets to vary group discussion composition. You can also vary group size.
- Assign or request discussion leaders, especially with smaller group discussions.
- Have each group from a group discussion post to a classwide discussion their main takeaways. (This is essentially two discussions, one for small groups and one for the whole class. They can be set up back-to-back in Canvas.)
- Build in a peer review or collaborative element into assignments to hold students accountable to one another.
- Make time for groups to socialize and network at the beginning of their group assignments to foster relationships and personal connections. You may provide them with some ice breaker activities or other prompts to get them talking to each other.
- Have groups focus on different content and produce a project that illustrates their learning.
- Create a podcast of a researched topic.
- Engage in the engineering design process to build a 3D prototype.
- Invite student groups to present an assigned reading and lead or facilitate the class discussion.
- Develop a public facing website or article to raise awareness or make a call to action.
- Prepare a lesson to teach to the class.
- Write and present a case study.
Remember that your group work activities will be most effective when they align with course learning objectives, and relate to the subject matter and course context. Email [email protected] to consider how you can design group work that meets the needs in your course.
References & Additional Resources
- Group Work Design Considerations (Faculty Guide)
- O’Neill, E. (2015). Scaffolding Student Projects: Seven Decisions. Yale Center for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved May 27, from https://campuspress.yale.edu/yctl/scaffolding-student-projects/
- Hodges, L. (2017). Ten Research-Based Steps for Effective Group Work. IDEAedu.org. Retrieved on Jun 1, from https://www.ideaedu.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/IDEA%20Papers/IDEA%20Papers/PaperIDEA_65.pdf
- Teaching Strategies: Using Group Work and Team Work. UM Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Retrieved on May 27, from http://crlt.umich.edu/tstrategies/tsgwcl