Follow-Up Friday: First Friday Coffee & Conversation

April 1, 2022

This Follow-Up Friday post is dedicated to the monthly roundtable instructor meeting: First Friday Coffee & Conversation (FFC&C). The final FFC&C of Spring 2022 saw Clemson Online staff and instructors from Public Health, Biology, and Nursing meet to discuss the potential benefits and issues with group projects. Check the notes below for more details and if you want to join in on the conversation, stay tuned over this summer for Fall 2022 FFC&C dates and topics at the Clemson Online Events page.

First Friday Coffee & Conversation Notes

Group Dynamics

Group dynamics are the obvious tricky element with any group project. Will the group members work well together to produce quality work? How do we get students to not dread group work, considering working in teams will likely be a fundamental aspect of their careers?

  • Consider using a group dynamics personality test and arranging student groups based on the results.
  • Look for personality tests that offer a range of responses for each question and not a binary response such as ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’.
  • This personality test should focus on what kind of behaviors and thought processes one gravitates towards in group settings.
  • Consider highlighting the real-world implications of being able to work well with others so learners understand how this project impacts not only their grades but after they are done with your class.

Critique Sheets/Rubrics and Reflection Questionnaires

Evaluating the group project process is a ripe opportunity for teaching, as much as evaluating the group’s project.

  • Consider using a critique sheet or a rubric for group participants to use to evaluate fellow group members’ contributions to the task.
    • A rubric can provide accountability for the group members which in turn can help learners feel less anxiety about people not pulling their weight.
    • A rubric learning through clearly identifying what skills or behaviors they need to demonstrate to succeed.
    • Check out this Quick Hits video on creating rubrics (20 minutes) for a quick demonstration of how to create rubrics in Canvas.
  • Strongly recommend that if points are going to be awarded for working well in a group project, then it should be listed in your course as a learning outcome.

Discussion Boards for Groups

  • Consider using discussion boards designated for each group so that they can collaborate in Canvas.
  • This could have points awarded for posting to the discussion board if it was a requirement for every group member in each group to post what they are working on each week (or preferred period of time).

Growing Group Projects Brainstorm

  • Perhaps we can think of a way to have a digital showcase for group projects so that they can be shared with the campus.
  • Perhaps we could build a  stand-alone Canvas module or course that contains information about working in teams that could be utilized across all courses/disciplines. This could be a teaching resource that is accessible to all Clemson users so that faculty could deploy it in their courses.


Clemson University is switching from Ensemble to Kaltura. Learn more about the coming changes!

Upcoming Live Training

Quick Hits: Lockdown Browser

  • Though a month away, now is the perfect time to start planning on how to ensure academic integrity in your online finals exams! This week, we will demonstrate how to use Lockdown Browser to ensure that your learners are able to demonstrate their mastery of your content under a fair opportunity. Join us to learn what Lockdown Browser is, how to use it, and to questions about the technology and the pedagogy of this tool.
  • Facilitated by Clemson Online’s Learning Technology Specialist, Gray Jackson.
  • Register in Tiger Training to join us.
  • Thursday, April 7th from 3:30-4 PM.

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