Group Projects: experiences in the trenches
Tip Sheet 8
Tony Norman, Psychology from the CTL Workshop
April 3, 1995
1. Working with group assignments produces a common set of problems: social loafing,
time constraints, evaluation.
2. The benefits of using group projects are: the group product is better than the indi- vidual products, students feel or become more committed/connected in a group be- cause they learn more from each other than from the instructor.
3. Randomly assign group members to avoid cliques and promote diversity.
4. Set up a time table with checkpoints for progrss and deadlines.
5. Have students take minutes of their group meetings and keep attendance and turn them in.
5. If students have difficulty meeting they may be able to use E-mail to communicate or you may designate class time for working on the group project.
6. Plan some way for geographically or socially isolated students to contribute. 7. Having a series of small projects rather than a single large one allows individuals to learn how to work with each other.
8. Members must be personally accountable for their contributions and must be aware of their accountability. Peer evalua- tion is one way of accomplishing this or have team member roles (assigned by group members). One participant suggested allowing teams to ''fire'' individuals.
9. Include your evaluation procedures in the syllabus.
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