E-Learning 2.0: Out with Online Group Projects and In with Virtual Teams!

Written by: Lori A. Weir, M.Ed.

Does this sound familiar? It’s the week you roll out the group project in your online course. You’re watching the discussion board and the email trails. In each group, a student cautiously emerges as the discussion leader—you can tell that he or she doesn’t want to appear controlling, but is eager to begin. One or two other students check in and dutifully reach out to the rest of the group, hoping to hear from their partners, but are not really invested in the possibility of a reply. Some students don’t jump in at all. And so it goes . . . Not only do your spirits sag as you preside over another uninspiring group project, but you are increasingly concerned about students’ abilities to effectively navigate collaborative projects in their future workplace.

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