Having your students work in groups is a great way to promote teamwork and problem solving skills. While educating your students is your priority, promoting teamwork is incredibly important as it is a skill that everyone needs in life in order to succeed. The following are a few tips for improving student group work:
- Emphasize the reason for group work – Before you begin forming your groups, make sure that your students understand why the task is to be done in groups instead of on an individual basis. Students often think that group work is a way to avoid having to teach the class or make grading easier – dispel this notion immediately!
- Teach students how to work in groups – Students often don’t know how to work in groups. Provide information on how each member needs to take responsibility and how they should relinquish individual priorities or goals for the favor of group goals.
- Provide reasonable work and clear goals – Obviously, the task should be bigger than a single individual can complete, but you don’t want students to struggle in completing their assignment either. Make sure the goal is clear as well so that the groups know what they are working toward.
- Provide class time – It can be difficult for students to schedule meetings outside of class. Provide class time for groups to meet.