Working in Groups

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Working in Groups

Carefully read eNomad: 10 design principles for creating engaging online group work

  • Design well-structured problem-based tasks.
  • Give participants clear directions.
  • Clearly describe the expected deliverable.
  • Give a deadline and suggest a work plan.
  • Ensure team roles support in-depth discussion of the issues.
  • Design tasks that allow the e-facilitator to shuffle teams.
  • Explain your rationale to the learners (why is working in teams to solve this problem so important?).
  • Give participants a break.
  • Provide feedback support to the e-facilitator.
  • Keep it open: Teams should be visible to all.

Next, review the readings describing group work from the student perspective:

For this discussion, design a group activity for your online class that spans three to four weeks. As you construct your initial post, consider the following questions: 

    • What activity or assignment could students do in about three to four weeks? Would you have teams assign roles? Would you have drafts of the final project due along the way? Would you have some way of overseeing the group’s communications and progress?


    • What you would have student teams do in each week as they collaboratively complete the assignment? Would you have deliverables each week? Would you provide a schedule of activities to complete each week? Would you ask groups to develop their own schedule?


  • How would you assess their work as individuals and in the final product? Would you have a separate assessment for individuals than the assessment you might use for the group product? Describe in detail.

To help you with ideas for group work activities, view pages 12-14 of this special report: Student Collaboration in the Online Classroom. Here you will find a table with several group work activities along with a description and examples: 

  • Case Analysis
  • Collaborative Writing
  • Peer Help
  • Knowledge Base
  • Resource Database
  • Peer Editing
  • Online Discussions 

Provide details of the product or assignment your student groups would submit and how you would structure the activity to support the success of the teams. Also, describe your assessments for individuals and the team.

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