Innovating the Pedagogy of Group Work with New Technology

Concurrent Session 4

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Successful group assignments include: appropriate support, excellent learning questions, and optimum technologies. Discuss and explore these technologies and best practice for student use.

Archivist Notes

Extended Abstract

Participants in this conversation will examine the way in which evidence-based practices inform instructional design choices and recommendations for delivering and facilitating group work in online, blended, or face-to-face courses.
We will discuss the pedagogical theory behind and implications of these key questions:
When is it appropriate to introduce the group work?
How do groups get formed?
What impact does the group work experience have on the students' learning?
Which strategies should faculty implement to ensure students are set up for success?
How does group work get assessed?
Finally, which technology tools will be most effective for the group work based on the answers to these questions?

The available laptop space will be used to demonstrate specific technologies as each conversation prompts, including Basecamp, Smartsheet & Asana (project management), Slack (messaging, file management, social integrations), Catme (group formation and team evaluation), synchronous webinar (such as Google Hangouts, Big Blue Button, Adobe Connect, BlueJeans) and file management tools (Google Apps,, Dropbox, etc). The group capabilities of Canvas and Blackboard will also be available for exploration and discussion.
The facilitators will share and solicit practical examples of group work within online, blended and face-to-face environments, including lessons learned and recommendations for faculty, instructional designers and technologists who support this work. These conversations could include how small teams were formed to successfully simulate an entrepreneurial process throughout a 4-week online course, describing how the LMS collaboration tools and faculty guidance achieved desired learning outcomes. A second possible case comes from an online graduate course within a blended program to describe how small groups worked together before engaging in synchronous online discussions.. We will consider the pros and cons of varying levels of control over group deliverables. A third example could present a series of teaching techniques and technologies used to implement small group instruction in an large face-to-face classroom.

In addition to mining these conversations for instructional design practices and tools, facilitators are hoping to develop relationships with participants to plan future research in this area.