Group Work: Barriers and Challenges in Remote Instruction

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Barriers and Challenges for Group Work

Collaborative group work is an effective way of engaging students in higher-level learning. During remote instruction, however, there are 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 are use learning, and
  • Increases in the amount of time it may take students to complete activities.
Review the technology requirements for UW-Madison students for the academic year.

Guidance

  • 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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