Research supports the benefits of group work in higher educational. It improves student learning, engagement, and overall success. WebAssign provides multiple opportunities for students to connect and collaborate. These are three simple steps that will help you deliver group work effectively in your course using WebAssign.
For group work to be effective, set your goals
Before you begin planning and assigning group tasks, it is important to consider what your goals are. You might have the following goal:
Students can be empowered to practice and engage with course topics in a group setting.
Facilitate discussion among students to allow them to hear other perspectives or approaches to course material
Students will be able to communicate with their classmates and ask them questions, which will help them understand the course material better. Sometimes students feel more comfortable asking questions to their peers than you.
Once you have established your goals, you will be able to determine what assignments and activities you need to make your course a success.
Strategically organize your students’ groups
WebAssign allows you to organize groups by assigning a specific assignment score or by choosing a random student’s overall grade. Each option has its advantages and can be used strategically in order to achieve your goal. For example, you may:
To bring diverse perspectives and ideas to each group, create groups that include a mix of students.
Groups can be formed based on student performance. This could include students who are more successful than others and students who are less successful.
Once you have decided on your groups, tell your students which one they are in.
Choose your delivery method
Instructors use group work in many ways to help students learn, practice, collaborate, and even study. Let’s take a look at some of the most common methods you can use to deliver group work, and offer some tips to make it even easier.
A discussion board gives students something to talk about with other students
Students can get to know each other and collaborate by giving them something they can discuss. You can create groups for your class, then assign a topic to each group or the class. Each group can be asked to explain the topic to their class. Or they can work together to solve a problem. Then, share the steps they took. Once the group is ready, they will be able to post their responses in a discussion forum. Ask students to include their group number or name.
You will need to enter student scores under a study group category in the gradebook for grading purposes. Discussion board submissions can be subjective so create a rubric for students or set requirements to earn full credit.
Help students practice with an assignment
Group work can be a great way for students to practice a topic or complete lab assignments after you have introduced the class to it. You can schedule any assignment on your Class Schedule page as group work. Only one member of the group will need to complete the assignment. Pre-built assignments in your course packs can help you save time.
You can also use a pre-made worksheet to do an in-class activity. You can also create an assignment with a file upload query and make it a group assignment to collect these assignments digitally. Ask students to scan or take pictures of their completed worksheets and then submit them within the assignment.
Encourage long-term collaboration with a project
Projects allow students to collaborate on a longer-term topic. You can ensure your project is successful by following best practices.
To ensure that all members of the group participate, set clear expectations and include a rubric. To enforce accountability, you can ask each member of the group to complete a write-up about the project status. You can also ask each group member to complete an anonymous survey at the end of the project rating their group’s participation. If a student doesn’t contribute, you can change the scores for that individual member of the group.
WebAssign Tip – Some courses, such as Statistics, have pre-built project templates that you can find in your course packs.
Study groups can enhance student understanding
Group work is a great way to prepare students for the upcoming exam. You can ask students to meet up for the upcoming exam, or give them a study guide and assignment to complete together.
You can grade their participation by asking one member of the group to post in a discussion forum recapping the meeting topics or answering a prompt that you have created. You can ask them to take a photo of the group, too.