24 Best Practices: Group work

When designing group work for the online environment, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • Ask yourself if the assignment lends itself to group work and can be broken down into meaningful sections to deepen students learning.
  • Ensure the time frame allotted for the project gives students ample time to be successful. It takes more time to arrange online group work when students are in different time zones, and technology is a factor. If you give your in-class students a week, consider giving your online students at least 2 weeks.
  • Instruct students on how to use the Canvas Groups site (see Get to Know Canvas video).
  • Have the students create group charters.
  • Create groups that include 3-5 students for optimal performance. Use the assignment as a guide and decide if there is enough work for 3 or 4 or 5 students to complete equally.
  • Ask for student input when determining the grade.  Create self and peer evaluations to be completed by all members of the group.
  • Remember that collaborative work is often time messy, but it helps build interpersonal, social, emotional, and communication skills.


Teaching Online: Course Design, Delivery, and Teaching Presence Copyright © by Analisa McMillan. All Rights Reserved.

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