The Office of Faculty Development

Meaningful Group Work

Regardless of what discipline we work in, a constant challenge many of us face as educators is how to design meaningful group work, team activities, and exercises that students will find useful and which does not contribute to the dreaded "grouphate" phenomenon commonly expressed by many students. 

Recent research on group/team work focused on cooperative and active learning has given us some important insights into what makes for more meaningful group work, as well as some valuable insights into what we can do as educators to create and foster meaningful group work experiences for and with our students. 

Drawing on insights from research with both students and faculty, this teaching guide explores some ways we can go about improving our use of groups in the classroom, from designing more effective rubrics for individual and group assessment to exploring examples that offer insights into how we can more effectively design and assess the successes, and avoid the obstacles, of group work in our classes.

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Check out these resources from UNSW Teaching(opens in new window) on ways to assess group work.

Check out these resources from the Center for Teaching Innovation(opens in new window) exploring tips to help grade group work.

Listen to Group Work by Katie May(opens in new window) for lots of ideas about using groups

Check out the Teaching in Higher Ed(opens in new window) podcast.

Listen to The Cult of Pedagogy(opens in new window) on co-op learning.

Watch this short video on Getting All Students to Participate(opens in new window).

Stanford GSB students talk about some of the challenges & benefits of promoting class participation(opens in new window).

The Active Learning Classroom: Strategies for Practical Educators(opens in new window) by Creekmore and Deaton (2015).

Cooperative Learning: A Diversified Pedagogy for Diversified Classrooms(opens in new window) by Yael Sharan (2010).