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

Using online tools for communication and collaboration is 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.





Organisation Microsoft Teams Students create a Team to support communication and collaboration

Staff create a Team and set up Channels (open or Private) for students to work in groups

  • 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 other 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 Assignment - group submission Students submit an assignment (e.g. Project report or Presentation slides) in their group You can create a Group assignment and choose settings for a single submission from the group, and to provide feedback and marks to the whole group
Moodle Group Peer Review Tool Allow students to anonymously score one another to weight academic mark Works with Moodle Group assignment. See our Group Peer Review tool guidance, Staff FAQ and Student FAQs

Case studies

Group design project work - online and remote working

Group design project work - online and remote working In the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Dr Robert Grover co-teaches a group design project with Dr Victoria Stephenson, to a combination of four different cohorts, across the two disciplines of architecture and civil engineering.

Group work with peer assessment

Group work with peer assessment – supporting students in the online environment In the Department of Health, Dr Ezio Preatoni and colleagues offer a range of units which include assessed group coursework. In the fields of Sport and Exercise Science and Health and Exercise Science, students typically go on to work in multi-disciplinary teams. Developing their teamwork skills is therefore key to preparing for the professional environment.


Updated on: 19th November 2021