Group Work in an Online Environment
Collaborative Learning Benefits
- The joint inquiry of group work leads to a greater understanding.
- Allows learners to better organize and integrate new information.
- Learners can deal with realistic levels of complexity, difference of opinion, and group decision making.
- Builds negotiation skills through resolution of difference of opinion
Sample Collaborative Activities
- Case Analysis
- Collaborative Writing
- Peer help
- Knowledge Base
- Resource database
- Peer Editing
- Online Discussions
- Explain importance of teamwork.
- Provide examples of good teamwork sessions.
- Instructor involvement in teamwork is crucial.
- Provide adequate resources for teams.
- Celebrate exceptional work by sharing with other groups.
- Provide quick answers to team questions.
- Maintain enthusiasm for teamwork success
Online Group Learning Problems - Solutions
- Students do not like teamwork – Tell students the benefits of teamwork
- Students do not like their chosen team – Select teams at random to get students outside of their comfort zone
- Students lack group work skills – Provide training on group work
- Students feel like they do all the work – Use pressure from instructor and other team members to prevent free-riders
- Students leave the group without completing their “part of group work” – Develop a way to assess a group without penalty from a group member leaving
- Students want to be assessed for their work and not penalized for others work – Use individual assessment for each member.
Kelly, R. (2015). Student collaboration in the online classroom. Retrieved from Online Classroom - Magna Publications website: www.facultyfocus.com
Roberts, T., & McInnerney, J. (2007). Seven problems of online group learning (and their solutions). Technology & Society, 10(4), 257-268.