Thinking about groupwork in online settings

Yes, it is still possible for students to work on group projects and collaborate in online settings. FLO contains tools to set up groups for a range of online teaching settings and allow students to work together in groups. Each tool allows for different types of communication and offers a slightly different experience.

  • Collaborate allows students to have synchronous discussions and post comments to each other in breakout groups, separate from the main class. Each group operates independently so they cannot all share the same screen across the different groups. You may need to consider workarounds, such as sending the PowerPoint or other materials to the group leader or group separately so they can share amongst themselves as they work, then report back to you.
  • Forums useful for asynchronous discussions and commentaries.
  • Blogs (as above) useful for asynchronous discussions and commentaries.
  • Wikis allow students to create content and have discussions either asynchronously or synchronously.

For further recommendations about having students working in groups when you teach look at the Good Practice Guide: Group work and for specific information regarding working with groups online look at Teaching online guidebook: Group work.

There are also a range of Teaching Notes based on different aspects of groupwork which provide ideas you can translate into online contexts. These include:

Group work – managing conflict and assessment activities

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