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Group Activities and Projects

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Dabareh Vowell

on 3 February 2014

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Transcript of Group Activities and Projects

5. Debrief well

"Debrief the activity with the entire class. Revisit the learning goals. Summarize and synthesize the main lessons. Connect the learning to previous knowledge, real-world applications or motivational contexts.

Assess student learning informally or formally. Use non-graded classroom assessment techniques (e.g., minute paper/muddiest point) or graded group or individual products to assess student learning.

Provide feedback to individuals and groups regarding both group process and products.

Provide students with opportunities to reflect on their
learning as well as teamwork."

University Of Michigan.
Using Groups Effectively.

All Together Now!
What are general best practice in group work, both f-2-f or online?
2. Plan for each stage of the process
Provide group work guidelines, projects, and expectations in the syllabus.

Plan for any contingencies that might arise (personality conflict, group ratings, communication difficulties).
3. Give students skills to facilitate group work
Incorporate instruction and practice in:

active and tolerant listening
giving and receiving constructive criticism
managing disagreements and conflict
distributing task equitably
leading a collaboration
group member evaluation

Why take class time to do this?

These are life skills that will help
students be more successful in
class, work, and personal
4. Design legitimate group projects
Think about and plan projects or tasks that enhance learning.
Group Activities and Projects
Provide grading criteria up front
Set up rules and guidelines.
Go for higher level thinking
"The best questions for engaging groups are open-ended and have no single correct answer, or are controversial and have a variety of perspectives/viewpoints. To promote higher-level thinking, challenge students to engage in analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing, and/or questioning the problem’s premise or assumptions. For example, ask students to make or defend a specific choice. Closed-ended problems with one correct answer should be difficult enough that individuals cannot solve them easily and should require learners to identify and apply relevant concepts."

University Of Michigan. Using Groups Effectively.
Provide a highly structured task
Provide written instructions to your students that list

(1) the task (i.e., brainstorming, strategies, choosing, solving);

(2) the expected product (i.e., reporting back to the class on ideas, handing in a worksheet, presenting a solution to the class); and

(3) the method of “debriefing” or “reporting out” (i.e., sharing group results, sharing pros/cons, discussing group ideas, noting consensus and diversity of ideas).

Communicate milestones so groups can monitor and reflect on their progress and performance. Always set a time a limit for the activity and periodically inform
students about how much time remains.

University Of Michigan. Using Groups Effectively.

for student-student and student-instructor interactions during group work and associated class discussions. Provide guidelines and solicit student feedback and suggestions for additional guidelines.

Provide written and verbal
, including time limits and deadlines. Check for understanding of instructions and clarify confusion before starting the activity. Clearly set expectations for individual and group preparation, attendance, products and deliverables, and performance (including grading criteria, if applicable).

Explain the
motivation and learning goals
for the activity. Explain why it is important to spend time in on this group activity. Provide a meaningful context for the activity with respect to course content or real-world applications or relevance.

for both individual and groups.

Provide students with the necessary
to succeed. Teach any new content or skills that are required to complete the activity and provide any resources (e.g., readings, video clips, lab equipment) needed to prepare for the activity.

University Of Michigan. Using Groups Effectively.

Don't wait for problems to arise; spell out criteria for
evaluation in writing, early.

Allow students to evaluate each other with a clear rubric with specific traits and actions.

Incorporate a "group learning contract" that members sign and agree to follow.

Explain why group work is important and what students will gain.

Keep in mind that group work is more successful
when students are graded against a set standard
than when they are graded against each other
(on a curve).

University of Arkansas. Collaborative Learning: Group
Work and Study Teams.
1. Connect group projects and activities directly to learning outcomes
Make it clear that the project will address a learning outcome.

Show how the learning in the group connects to the large concepts in the course.
Finally, online...
We'll take a look at how Canvas makes it easy to incorporate group work!
More resources:
Group Work That Works, Even in Large Classes

Effective Group Work

Group Work The Higher Education Academy
Full transcript