Follow Up Friday

March 5, 2021

This week: notes from FFCC, posts you may have missed, and upcoming events

A round coffee mug with the paw logo in the foam.March’s First Friday Coffee & Conversations was all about group work while using Zoom or other similar tools in a course.

Several of the instructors in attendance discussed assigning group work in their online or blended courses. While there can be challenges for learners working on group projects outside of class time, most of the feedback from students about group assignments was positive. Based on today’s FFCC, here are some suggestions for best practices in online group work, although these tips can just as easily apply to face to face classes, as well:

  • Set aside class time, or even an entire class meeting, for students to work in their groups. It’s much easier for students to accomplish group learning outcomes if they don’t have to schedule meetings outside of class time. This is particularly true for online classes.
  • Try assigning specific roles to each group member, such as stenographer, communications coordinator, researcher, etc. This gives each learner their own goals to accomplish, and can foster a more equitable work distribution within the group.
  • Require each student to submit a short write up describing how the group managed, which member(s) contributed and which member(s) did not. Stress that this is not an opportunity to “settle scores” or otherwise be petty, but to honestly explain what each person contributed to the final product.
  • Be sure to share the finished projects! Students will learn a lot from seeing what other groups did and the different approaches everyone may have taken. Artifacts can easily be posted to Canvas; for instance, if the project is a video, you can upload all the videos to your Ensemble account, and then embed them directly into a Canvas Page. See Clemson Online’s Ensemble tool page for details about how to do just that.

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