Good practice: Provide structure, time, and skill development training to your students.
Effective teamwork doesn’t just happen. The following steps will help ensure that your students can work effectively and reach their goals.
Communicate your expectations and role in the project
Let your students know how you will be overseeing the assignment and clarify the extent to which you will provide support as they research and work together. Establish guidelines as to how and when they should contact you with questions and if problems arise.
The following suggestions will help you help your students have a successful and positive experience. Click on each to learn more.
- Provide structure by dividing the project into smaller pieces
- Teach teamwork skills and promote positive team dynamics
- Support international students and nonnative speakers of English
- Provide in-class time to work
- Provide teams with a communication toolkit
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Morrison, D. Five essential skills instructors need to facilitate online group work and collaboration. Blog Post, Online Learning Insights, https://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/ accessed 6/16/2016.
Oakley, B., Felder, R.M., Brent, R. & Elhajj, I. Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of Student Centered Learning, 2(1), 9 – 34 (2004).
Spencer-Oatey, Dauber, D., Jing, J. & Lifei, W. Chinese students' social integration into the university community: Hearing the students' voices. Higher Education, November (2016).
Tuckman, B.W. & Jensen, A. C. Stages of small-group development revisited. Group Facilitation, November, 43 – 48 (2010).