How Do I Assign Students to Groups?
Despite the widespread acceptance and demonstrated success of group learning, many teachers do not know how to create small groups effectively. Learn key factors involved in successfully facilitating group learning and teach you the benefits of group work.
The benefits of student group work
According to numerous research studies, group work is one of the best ways to help students learn.
Group work helps facilitate active involvement in learning.
Itís been shown that students learn more and retain content longer through group work compared to other teaching methods.
It also helps students develop collaborative working skills, which are highly valued by employers.
Despite the widespread acceptance and demonstrated success of group learning, many teachers do not know how to create small groups effectively.
In this Magna 20-Minute Mentor, Ike Shibley, Ph.D., discusses key factors involved in successfully facilitating group learning.
You will learn
- The benefits of group work for learning course material.
- How to differentiate between formal and informal groups.
- How to follow a decision tree to decide on group composition, number of group members and group grading policies.
- Detailed feature on the five essential components of group work.
- Link to resources for finding assessment instruments.
- A group work decision tree.
- Rubrics and recommended resources.
- Clearly establish goals for group work.
- Create appropriate groups.
- Ensure that your grading policy is aligned with your goals for group work.
- Involve students in grading their group mates.
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Product Code: PM09HA
Ivan A. Shibley, Jr. (Ike), Ph.D., is associate professor of chemistry at Penn State Berks, a small four-year college within the Penn State system. He teaches introductory chemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, philosophy of science courses, first-year bioethics seminar, and senior science seminar.
His research involves pedagogical approaches to improving science instruction at the college level. He has won both local and university-wide awards for his teaching including the 2009 Eisenhower Award presented to a tenured Penn State faculty member who exhibits excellent teaching as well as mentoring other teachers.
Ike has been teaching blended courses for almost a decade. He first became involved in blended design as part of an 18-month project to completely redesign the general chemistry course at Berks.
As part of a team of six professionals who invested over 1,000 man-hours in the redesign Ike helped provide the pedagogical and subject matter expertise to help guide the redesign.
The course has now been delivered in a blended format for seven years with an average GPA almost 25% higher than previous years. Every section of general chemistry taught at Penn State Berks now uses the same blended design.
Ike has co-authored several manuscript about the results. Ike has also redesigned a nutrition course that is offered in a blended as well as a fully online format.
He and a collaborator have blended upper-level biology courses on cell signalling, neurobiology, and developmental biology.
He presents his work on blended learning at numerous professional conferences and has become an ardent advocate of blended learning.
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