groups and teams

For Students: How to Make the Most of Group Work

Bad experiences with uncommitted teammates, conflict, and a lack of clear direction have led some students to view “group work” as a dirty term. However, it may be that these students simply haven’t been introduced to the steps involved in becoming an effective group. Thus, before you assign a group project, it may help to provide your class with guidelines that will lead them to success — rather than frustration or discord. What actions and behaviors lead to a successful group experience? In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Svinicki and McKeachie offer students the following suggestions: Make sure that all Read More…


Designing Effective Group Assignments

Certainly, you could choose any number of ways to assign groups for group assignment: pull names out of a hat; have students select teammates; go by last name (a.k.a. the “potluck” method — all students A-L are in Group 1, M-S in Group 2, etc.). You could even have students count off in class to determine their group number. However, if you want to encourage maximum participation, collaboration, and achievement for a significant group assignment, you may opt for a method that increases the likelihood of student success and satisfaction. Though not an exact science, there are certainly steps you Read More…


Using Groups in the Classroom

Guest Contributor: Maggi Miller. Looking to increase student engagement in your course? Here, Maggi Miller, retired Professor and now Manager of Cengage Learning’s TeamUP Faculty Programs, discusses why—and how—group work leads to greater student success and satisfaction. ANNOUNCEMENT! Lecturing is not the most effective way to teach! “Student engagement” is the way to go, right? It’s supported by student satisfaction surveys and most conferences have sessions on active learning. But it’s not just a “hot” topic. The evidence is in: when the classroom is student-centered, the learning is more immediate, goes deeper and lasts longer. It’s a pedagogical trifecta! Students Read More…


Making the Grade in Group Presentations

Group presentations are often necessary in the classroom and in the workplace — working as an effective member of a team is a skill that can be essential in work and life. To be successful, all members must work as a team to deliver a consistent and memorable presentation to the audience. In Becoming a Master Student, author Dave Ellis outlines three key strategies that anyone working with a group can follow as a path toward successful group presentations. Read on for your own benefit, share with your students, or both! Get Organized. Once you have your task, appoint Read More…


Maintaining Student Involvement in the Large Classroom

Many who work in education today are being tasked with doing more with less. This can reach to the classroom and result in larger sections as more students are allowed to enroll in each. Large classes are also nothing new for many first- or second-year survey or pre-major courses. No matter the reason for the larger class size, students may exhibit a tendency to hold back their responses — or their attention — in a large lecture hall. Thus, to combat a tendency towards passivity among students, it’s vital to have a strategy for keeping them actively engaged during Read More…