Examples of Collaborative Group Work Assignments

Examples of collaborative group work assignments on campus.

Crash Course on Cyber Collaboration — Beth Martin

Beth Martin, Professor and Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning in the School of Human Ecology was asked to develop and teach a hybrid version of Pharmacy 728  — Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences using experiential learning. Developing this course was particularly difficult because she was accustomed to teaching lab courses where she had face-to-face contact with her students for three hours. She would see her students for just five hours in this new course over the entire semester. She knew facilitating collaborative group work in an online forum would be challenging. To deal with these challenges, she developed effective collaborative group work strategies. "We had had [students] work collaboratively in the lab before, but we had never explained how to function as a team," said Martin. "Teaching a hybrid course, I knew I would have to make that information available to them differently. It made me more conscious of providing students with a collaborative, problem-solving vocabulary that they can use to discuss and evaluate their group work."

Bringing Bach Back to Life — Jamie Henke

Jamie Henke is a Distinguished Faculty Associate in the Division of Continuing Studies. She wanted her students to learn more about the composers covered in the course Music 151 — Basic Concepts of Music.  Traditionally, she asked her students to choose and research a composer and post what they learned in the online course discussion forum. Looking at past assignment results, however, she found that some students weren't participating. She also realized that few students were reading others' postings. She needed a different approach. She moved the assignment from a discussion forum into a role-playing forum to address this challenge. Students were expected to work in groups to create pages for each composer. When this was done, they (as the composer) had to converse with each other. "They had to know the composer's history," Henke said. "To complete the task, students had to think about what one computer would think about another composer."

Collaborative Writing Brings Class Together — Tim Paustian

Tim Paustian is a Distinguished Faculty Associate in Bacteriology at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He taught Microbiology 551— Physiology Diversity of Procaryotes Laboratory as an independent study course. Paustian observed that the research groups in the course worked like a puzzle. "Each group studied their piece of the puzzle, but at the end of the course, when all the pieces should have come together to form the big picture, the students couldn't see what it was." To address this challenge, he created a collaborative writing project. According to Paustian, the results were pretty dramatic. "It made a huge difference. They finally got it. Once the students learned how to use the software, they saw the value. Students felt it helped them keep track of what they were doing in the project and allowed them to follow along on the projects from the other groups. Students' grades and their writing were much better after the project, but it wasn't due solely to the interactive collaboration that was taking place. The software allowed me to monitor the progress of student work and provide them input while they were still working on their projects."

Peer Editing — Erica Halverson

Erica Halverson is a Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the School of Education. She had taught special sections of Educational Psychology 301 — Human Abilities in Learning. The course was designed for students in the secondary education program who are studying to be high school teachers. "The students work in groups to design an instructional unit of their content around an instructional problem that traditionally is a struggle to teach," said Halverson. "The students in the class always bemoaned how busy they were and how hard it was to get together for group work projects. So, I thought, 'Great, let's set up an asynchronous workspace, and that way, they won't have to figure out a time to get together and meet.'" She designed a collaborative editing site to improve peer feedback. While she struggled in the past to get students to give each other meaningful feedback, the online space helped tremendously. "The fact that the site was public meant students couldn't be glib about their writing. It has to be constructive," Halverson said. "The fact that people had an opportunity to be more reflective was beneficial."

Keywordsgroup work, examplesDoc ID114188
OwnerTimmo D.GroupInstructional Resources
Created2021-10-08 08:59:56Updated2024-04-16 12:41:42
SitesCenter for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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