What do we mean?

Group work refers to any student-student lead interaction. This includes Group Reports, Presentations, Lab Projects and Peer Assisted Learning activities.

Tools to Support Online Group Work

The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted online tools for communication collaboration as a key workplace skill. These tools can support collaborative Group Reports, Lab Projects and Peer Assisted Learning activities. Point students towards the tools below so students can successfully work in groups.

General Tips

Students can find managing group work challenging in a face-to-face environment. Consider how you will scaffold online group work to support engagement, access and allow students to focus on the group work itself.

  • Encourage students to use familiar & generic tools (see list below)
  • Set expectations and scaffold group interactions. For example:
    • Set milestones and timeline
    • Structure initial activities
    • Encourage group to agree on a code of working
    • Ice-breaker activities to settle groups (e.g. asynchronous: annotate an article with questions and comments, synchronous: mindmap on OneNote during Teams meeting).
  • Use synchronous and asynchronous activities to give chances for all students to contribute (e.g. to support different timezones, modes of working, etc).

Specific Tools for Group Work

The following are approved University of Bath tools and give a blank canvas for students to work with one another.

Area

Tool

Context

Tips

Organisation Microsoft Teams Students create a Team to support communication and collaboration
  • Use OneNote notebook to share notes/plans
  • Use Files section for sharing all documents (Word, Powerpoint etc)
Moodle Group Choice Activity Allows students to chose which Moodle group they want to enrol in. Watch our video walkthrough on setting up the Group Choice Activity
Communication Microsoft Teams Chat Students use text chat to asynchronously discuss group work
  • Students use channels for different activities (e.g. Lit Review, Design, Analysis, Conclusion, Presentation etc)
  • Groups to agree "working hours" and their own usage expectations
  • Use asynchronous chat to allow students to formulate and communicate ideas
Microsoft Teams Meeting Students update, discuss and plan live using a Teams meeting Students can share screen/documents in meetings
Moodle Forum
  • Staff setup a forum as an academic check-in with individual groups.
  • Share best practice between groups to share and wider group skills.
Consider using different forum types in Moodle - for example the Q&A forum only displays others posts after you have posted!

Moodle has a Group Modes for Forums and many activities: namely Separate Groups where members can only see their own group and Visible Groups where students work in their group with others groups' work read-only.

Collaboration OneNote Students compile research and planning documents Copy pages to a personal notebook to save group outputs
Word, Excel, Powerpoint Students can collaborate in comment and collaborate concurrently on a final report/data analysis/presentation Use Review to add comments and track changes
Microsoft Whiteboard Quickly sketch and articulate simple diagrams Whiteboard feels faster than OneNote for live online meetings
Moodle Wiki Students create collaborative linked document in Moodle that is also a unit resource. See our Wiki guidance and case studies
Assessment Tool Moodle Group Peer Review Tool Allow students to anonymously score one another to weight academic mark See our Group Peer Review tool guidance, Staff FAQ and Student FAQs

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Updated on: 24th June 2020