Before assigning group work
You don't want students to see group activities as busy work. If group work doesn't enhance your learning objectives and provide value, consider alternative teaching techniques. Only use group work for projects an individual student can't do as well alone and finish in the intended amount of time.
Research shows that students work harder when others rely on them. To encourage this interdependence, create group assignments that require the students to divide the work to meet the goal, question and challenge each other's ideas, and share feedback and encouragement.
Before incorporating group work into your course, consider these questions:
- Will the group work further my course objectives?
- What introductory material or group resource information can I provide to help students succeed?
- How will the groups be formed?
- Will students be involved in planning the groups?
- How will I assess students' learning and maintain individual accountability? Will I require a group deliverable?
- How will I handle concerns and problems?
Source: "44 Benefits of Collaborative Learning." gdrc.org n.d. Web. 3 Jan. 2020.
To be sure students do collaborate and interact, you can use the groups tool and group assignments to foster an interactive online environment.
You can create a group assignment and release it to one or more groups within your course. Each group submits one collaborative assignment and all members receive the same grade. You can create a single assignment and assign it to all groups, or create several unique assignments and assign them to individual groups. Only you and the members of a group have access to the assignment.
- A course group must exist before you create group assignments for it.
- Students who are enrolled in more than one group that receives the same assignment will be able to submit more than one attempt for this assignment. You may need to provide these students with an overall grade for the assignment.
- Students who aren't enrolled at the time that a group assignment has been submitted don't have access to that submission. These students only see that the submission occurred.
- Students who you remove from a group can't see the group assignments. They can access their submissions from My Grades.
- If you edit the assignment between creation and the due date, the entire group may lose any work already in progress.
- If you delete a group from the assignment after students have started an attempt but before submission, they'll lose access to the assignment and lose their work.
You create a group assignment in the same way you create an assignment for students to complete individually. When you create a group assignment, a Grade Center item is created automatically. You can create group assignments in content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders. The group assignment appears in the course area where you create it and on the group homepage.
On the Create Assignment page, expand the Submission Details section to deliver an assignment to groups.
- Select Group Submission.
- In the Items to Select box, select the group or groups to receive this assignment. Select the right-pointing arrow to move the selection into the Selected Items box. To select multiple groups at once on a Windows computer, press and hold the Shift key and select each group. To select groups out of sequence, press the Ctrl key and select each group. For Macs, press the Command key instead of the Ctrl key. Use the Select All function if you want to include all groups.
- Select the number of attempts. You can allow more than one attempt on a group assignment.