INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN TIPS: Group Work
Categories, purposes, goals : What's this group for?
Group members work on individual assignments but also critique the
work of their fellow group members. Drafts are shared and group members
provide ideas for further development, suggestions for improvement, or specific
grammatical edits. Example: In a writing class, a student will post a topic
idea to the group discussion board; members respond with questions or suggestions,
helping the student further define or narrow the topic prior to beginning
research or drafting. For larger assignments, students can use the exchange
file feature, add comments to each others papers using editing functions
in Microsoft Word, for example, and then re-post the file for the authorís review.
Group members work together to research a topic and create an artifact
(paper, presentation, etc.) reflecting what they have learned.
The group chooses, or is assigned, a specific case which they must
research and solve making use of discipline-specific resources and tools,
while also explaining the reasoning behind their processes and decisions.
Role-play or Simulation
In this variation of the case-based learning group, the group mimics
a group in the real world, which includes: specific assignments, roles,
project management tools, and resource constraints. Often the group is instructed
to produce memos, reports, newsletters or other artifacts that also mimic
those used in the real world.
The group provides an opportunity for members to reflect on professional
practice - internships, field work, service learning, student teaching -
to discuss theory as it applies to real-world experiences.
Study or Self-Help Groups
The group is formed to provide mutual assistance and support in preparing
to successfully complete a project such as a particular course, examination,
or job search. Where other group types will, most likely, be initiated by
the instructor, it is possible a few students will create their own study
group. However, students would need to request their instructor to create
a Blackboard group since, in Blackboard, only the instructor can create