Online Group Work: Barriers and Challenges

Group work

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Barriers and challenges related to group work

Barriers and Challenges to Group Work

Collaborative group work in an online environment can be an effective way of engaging students in higher-level learning. There are, however, some significant barriers that may make this kind of work difficult. Some of these are:

  • Lack of access to high-bandwidth connections or limited data plans,
  • Lack of a private space to work in an uninterruptible way,
  • Being located in a different time zone (making synchronous activities difficult),
  • Challenges in the way students use learning, and
  • Increases in the amount of time it may take students to complete activities.



  • Check your expectations for collaborative group work. Perform an inventory of what it might take to accomplish the tasks being assigned.
  • Provide several models or pathways students can complete the assignment.
  • Consider the manner in which you grade collaborative group work to take into account the challenges some students may have in contributing to activities.
  • Communicate with groups regularly to check in and identify challenges early.
  • Be flexible as students identify barriers.

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Keywords:barriers, challenges, group work, collaboration   Doc ID:104624
Owner:Timmo D.Group:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
Created:2020-08-04 10:24 CDTUpdated:2023-02-01 09:18 CDT
Sites:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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