While the idea of group work sometimes instils fear in students and educators alike, this need not be the case. There are a number of effective practices that can ensure successful online group work.
Key to successful group work is to ensure:
- the project and deliverables are clearly defined.
- team rules are agreed to and maintained (download a sample team contract).
- Careful planning and alignment with learning outcomes can ensure successful group work.
Criteria for success
- Provide explicit criteria for success – check that students understand the goals of the project and how you intend them to be achieved.
- Allocate time for the development and management of teamwork skills – ask students to create a team contract right from the start, make this one of the project outcomes.
- Create interdependence – make sure the group project goals necessitate the sharing of knowledge, skills, resources and goals.
Recognise individual contributions