Groupthink: Strategies to Engage Student Collaboration

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Trouble motivating students to do group work in your class? Use these tools to enrich content and create engaging projects.


Valerie Green has been working with online education since 2007. She received her BA in Sociology from Arcadia University. After receiving her BA, Valerie was driven to teach online. She pursued a MA in Humanities and an M.Ed in Instructional Technology. Valerie taught at Bucks County Community College for 7 years. She started out teaching face to face courses and then was transitioned to online. Valerie designed, developed and delivered the courses all on her own. She was able to have 1 of her courses be submitted for a Quality Matters review (QM) and successfully passed. She currently works at Arcadia University as an Online Instructional Design Specialist in the Arcadia Online Department. Here she assists with development of courses, training's, and assorted projects. Valerie has also taught an online course for Arcadia and social media is a huge part of her daily life.
Tori Waskiewicz has worked in higher education as an Instructional Technologist and Designer since 2006. After attaining a BA in Communications Media and a MS in Instructional Technology she began her career in the Real Estate industry as an Instructional Technology Specialist, creating synchronous and asynchronous courses for Realtors and real estate agents. This lead her to a prosperous career in higher education. Over the years Tori has worked with faculty in many disciplines to incorporate useful technology and sound pedagogy into face to face, hybrid, and online courses. Working with all types of technology and software to enhance teaching and learning for faculty, staff, and students has enabled her to learn many new technologies and work with people from diverse backgrounds. This year, Tori began teaching an online graduate level Instructional Technology course at Arcadia University. She also enjoys presenting at conferences and teaching workshops to enhance teaching, learning, and working in higher education through one on one and group sessions.

Extended Abstract

Group collaboration is challenging in online and blended courses. Students often work in groups focusing on a common goal, interacting with each other and by creation of a culminating work. This is an essential component of online learning, yet the challenge for instructors and students is how? How can instructors create activities where students collaborate effectively in groups when separated by distance and time?

In this hands on session we will showcase tools to encourage more student collaboration and less aggravation by demonstrating how instructors can set-up resources to encourage student success. Our chosen tools focus on maximum collaboration and enriching the pedagogical outcome. To achieve this, our audience will participate in our presentation utilizing a selection of group collaborative tools. These tools fall into the following categories: Video Conferencing, Scheduling, Content Editors, Presentation Tools, Content Organizers and many more.

A sneak peek: Mindmeister, Padlet, Google Apps, Doodle and Trello...