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Study skills > Module 5 > Page 5

 

Working in groups

  • group learning, or working in groups, involves shared and/or learned values, resources, and ways of doing things.
  • effective groups learn to succeed by combining these factors.
  • each group, and each individual, will only be as effective as they are willing to embrace and/or respect differences within the group.

The two major objectives of a group project are

  • what is learned: factual material as well as the process
  • what is produced: written paper, presentation, and/or media project

Role of instructors/ teachers/ tutors

  • the success of the outcome depends on the clarity of the objective(s) given by teachers, as well as guidelines on expectations. The group's challenge is to interpret these objectives, and then determine how to meet them
  • the process of group work is only as effective as teachers or instructors manage and guide the process. Group projects are not informal collaborative groups
  • students must be aware of, and prepared for, this group process. Co-operative group projects should be structured so that no individual can coast on the efforts of his/her team-mates

Scoring

  • rewards ideally should be intrinsic to the process, with group members deriving their reward from their contributions to the group and project
  • external reinforcement (grades, etc) for individuals can be based upon improvement, as opposed to comparative scoring. Evaluation based upon improvement rewards the group for an individual's progress
  • students can benefit from co-operative learning in may ways including the development of leadership skills, self-esteem gains, conflict resolution skills, and role-taking abilities that become part of the leaning process

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