The forum on group work also continued on this week with some interesting forum discussions. This video was posted on How to do Group Work-Teach Like this. I do agree with this video. He makes it sound easier, more efficient and with better results. It seems if I start promoting group work I’ll have to monitor and provide more feedback to each individual of the group, instead of evaluating the end product. He says if it’s well organized and that all learners are equally contributing, students will benefit from the group work. Hmmm? Maybe this is the key to creating a positive experience while doing group work?
Here’s a great image depicting 5 rules to stick to when doing group work.
As an introvert and don’t like doing group work. Rarely do I assign students group work for this reason. Possibly if we stick to these 5 rules. maybe our students will gain something positive from their group work?
Should we be doing group work out of class or assigning it to be done as an in class activity? It was suggested that the resistance to doing group work has gone down when assigned to an in class activity. Using a flipped classroom mode for the work in class and using at home to get the core skills. Maybe I would get a more positive response to group work if it happens in the classroom. This way I can monitor the contributions of each student to the project, instead of the project as a whole. Really it’s the learning that takes place during the group work while learners are contributing their thoughts and ideas to the group. This is when the learning and possibly the evaluation should take place, not the end product. So, why am I evaluating only the end product and listening to students complain about each other? Time to reconsider how to structure group work.
It was also suggested having a discussion forum within a course website set up for individual groups where team members are expected to show up and participate for group work? The expectations and roles are clearly defined before students participate and students understand that the discussions can be attended or monitored by the instructor? This sure sounds similar to this course and it seems to work well for us. It could just be adapted more to the group work concept. As an instructor, group work is harder to monitor online, so that sounds like a solution.
Also suggested that the roles within the group work could be rotated so that all students will eventually contribute from all aspects of the group. Students naturally place themselves in their comfortable role. I know, as a learner, when I’m involved in group work, this happens. We place ourselves in the role that we’re most competent in. Where the group can achieve the best marks for the least amount of effort. To have students rotate from each role would definitely enhance their learning, but it may also create more stress among the group work. I’ve never tried rotating the roles, but it definitely is a great idea to consider when assigning group work. Students will be engaged for sure, as long as they’re not too overwhelmed when out of their comfort zone. However, this is when learning best takes place.
When students are doing group work they engage in the given task, it is like putting the puzzle pieces together with each participant bringing their own ideas, experiences and knowledge. Connections are made from various angles and learning is more varied. There are many advantages to doing group work in an organized way and to help maintain the focus of the group.
This is a great representation of how group work can work as a team. All students coming together to share in their part to create a whole puzzle. I encourage this daily with my students as the career they have chosen is dental assisting and today most offices are very large with individuals each contributing to the smooth daily functioning of the office as a whole.