U Waterloo - Designing and Supporting Online Groupwork - Ignite2013


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Presenters: Dina Meunier, Melanie Misanchuk, and Tonya Noel - all of the University of Waterloo. Presented at the Desire2Learn Ignite Ontario event on Sept. 25, 2013.

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  • Group shout-out activity. Dina to lead while Melanie and Tonya sort ideas into benefits, challenges (and ‘other’ if context-type comments come up)
  • Student Benefits:- Engagement and retention (working in groups promotes more active form of learning and hence encourages more engagement with course content and higher levels of retention)- Cognitive presence and outcomes (results in high-level student questioning, higher levels of learning and higher levels of cognitive presence)- Group and team work is considered an important 21st century workplace skill, regardless of profession or vocation- Motivating for students (higher social interaction with their peers, provides opportunity for mutual support and stimulation, increases accountability, students more likely to talk in small groups than in large classes)- By increasing the sense of accountability to others in the group, it can have positive effects on students’ self of responsibility to others and to oneself as being responsible for own learningEncourages peer discussion about the topic, explaining aspects they may not understand and increasing that understanding or getting clarification.For instructor:May reduce workload (smaller # of assignments to mark if one for every 3-4 students than 1 from every student) – questionable really as offshoot ‘costs’ of groupwork actually add to workloadMay be beneficial if there is a limited # of viable and original topics to assign to the class (decreases repetition)Stimulates classroom discussion , dynamics but at the same time means that teacher may need to give up control which could be seen as a negativeCan assign more authentic, complex projects to groups than individuals
  • Much discussion around this, but generally, all teams are groups but not all groups are teams. Interdependent, longer term. Idea is that teams are ‘better” than groups: more cohesive, more learning. Good description of work groups vs teams in Managing Teams for Dummies by Marty Brounstein. Bottom line: cooperation vs collaborationWe will use these terms interchangeably, as we will chose to get pedantic about things other than definitions.Work teams vs learning teams: try to sell group work to students by saying this is what they’ll do in the “real world”. This is true. However, much about doing groupwork in an online, university course is incredibly inauthentic and not applicable to the real world. For example, in a learning team, you can put the person who needs to learn a certain skill in charge of that part of the project (video editing, proofreading, spot welding, whatever). In a work team, you put your most skilled person on that part of the project, not your least skilled one. Another way in which learning and work teams differ is risk-taking: you’re more likely to do something a little far-fetched or try out a new approach in a course than at your job. Those are just a couple example of difference, but suffice to say that there are many benefits of learning how to work in a group, from time management to negotiation to delegation, that will serve you well in school and at work.
  • Aim for collaboration.Getting good cooperation is tough enough. EXAMPLE of courses.
  • Males vs. females: typically male brains are more goal oriented while female brains are more experience orientedImage from http://www.clker.com/clipart-large-man-woman-bathroom-sign-7.html
  • Cultural differences: different concepts of what a leader is and what ‘roles’ different members fill on a team. Group vs individual-oriented. Canada flag image from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=canada+flag&ex=1#ai:MC900018776|Globe image from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=globe+map&ex=1#ai:MC900438068|
  • Generational differences: some say millennial are more connected/value teamwork more than baby boomers or traditionalists.
  • Discipline specific: Engineers vs. scientists vs. Mathematicians vs. Historians etc…. No real research on this. Ask group to decide.Hardhat image from http://www.clker.com/clipart-hard-hat-1.htmlBeaker image from http://www.clker.com/clipart-laboratory-flasks.html
  • Our beautiful segue
  • Give everyone a minute to think of activities on their own.Enourage everyone to think of at least 5 if people aren’t writing. Provide examples if necessary.
  • 15 minutes – get everyone into groups of at least 3 or 4 based on room size. Walk around. Challenge to think of 10.Melanie pay attention (mark off your checklist as they say them) .
  • 10 minutes; Melanie walk everyone through the checklist (distribute hard copies). Work off of that. Provide explanations as we go. Once complete, ask audience what we forgot (leave some blank bullets at the end so people can add them in.Image from http://www.clker.com/clipart-check-list.html
  • 5 minutes? Tonya introduce the tools checklist. Emphasize that they should really think about what they need before thinking about what they’ll use. Emphasize that some schools have different constraints that are worth looking at. D2L recently acquired Wiggio – our prompt for this presentation/how we cooperated while putting it togetherImage from http://all-free-download.com/free-vector/vector-clip-art/jean_victor_balin_icon_tool_clip_art_24484.html
  • Dina to run (if time)
  • U Waterloo - Designing and Supporting Online Groupwork - Ignite2013

    1. 1. DESIGNING AND SUPPORTING ONLINE GROUPWORK Ignite: D2L Regional User Forum | September 2013 | Guelph, ON Dina Meunier Melanie Misanchuk Tonya Noël Online Learning Consultants Centre for Extended Learning
    2. 2. What do you think of when you think about groupwork? DM-2:35
    3. 3. Discussion Summary POSITIVE THOUGHTS • Increased involvement • More authentic • More complex • Learner: Learner exchange of ideas • Less marking • Necessary skill set (reality check. Reflective of real life) NEGATIVE THOUGHTS • Why do I have to do this? • I don’t like (hate) working with people • Is there an alternate assignment? • Pushback about grades • Unrealistic • When I design groupwork, students want to do it independently. When I design independent work students want to do it together.
    4. 4. Why bother? (Recap of the benefits of Groupwork) Students • Encourages engagement and retention • Increases cognitive presence and cognitive outcomes • Promotes an essential skill • Motivating • Increases responsibility as a self-directed learner • Encourages peer learning and teaching Instructors • Stimulates classroom discussions and dynamics (?) • Reduces marking workload (?) • Permits the creation of more complex assignments for students • Prevents a limited number of topics to analyze from being an issue DM-2:40
    5. 5. What are we talking about today? • Groups vs. teams – Teams are more interdependent and usually work longer term – Groups work more cooperatively whereas teams are more collaborative • Cooperation vs. collaboration • Work teams vs. learning teams – “real-world experience” of teamwork MM-2:45
    6. 6. Cooperation vs. Collaboration Activity Communication Cooperation Collaboration Learning Information transmission Knowledge transmission Knowledge generation Inquiry Individual inquiry Delegation of tasks Common inquiry Decision-making Agree to disagree Vote (majority rules) Social negotiation to consensus Goals/agendas Multiple goals/multiple agendas One goal/multiple agendas One goal/one agenda Accountability Individual accountability Individual accountability Group accountability Learning relationship Complete independence Partial interdependence Complete interdependence
    7. 7. vs. TN-2:50 Who does and doesn’t enjoy it? vs.
    8. 8. Who does and doesn’t enjoy it? vs. TN-2:50
    9. 9. Who does and doesn’t enjoy it? TN- 2:50
    10. 10. Who does and doesn’t enjoy it? vs. TN-2:50
    11. 11. Who does and doesn’t enjoy it? Students in a class where groupwork activities are well designed Students in a class where groupwork activities are poorly designed Unlike the other examples, this is something we can control TN-2:50
    12. 12. What strategies might you use when designing a groupwork activity for a fully online course? TN-2:55
    13. 13. Group up, introduce yourselves, then share your answers (challenge: come up with 10 as a group) e.g. • Ensure activities align with course objectives • Outline value of groupwork to students • Limit group size to 3-4 DM-3:10
    14. 14. Review and Critique our Checklist MM-3:20
    15. 15. Some Notes about Tools TN-3:25
    16. 16. Groupwork Activity In your small groups, create a brief outline for an online group contract Sample Items: • Timeline • Roles • ???
    17. 17. Group Contract Outline • Team names and contact information • Methods of communication (online, offline) • File formats • Methods for sharing files (virtual space) • Expectations of all group members • Frequency, time, location of meetings • Roles of all members related to assignment • Assignment, course and personal goals • Milestone & timelines • Review and re-work • Methods of decision making • Consequences for not meeting expectations (1st time, 2nd time) • Providing peer feedback on progress
    18. 18. References Bart, M. (2010). How to design effective online groupwork activities. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online- education/how-to-design-effective-online-group-work-activities/ Belbin, M. (2013). Belbin Team Roles. Retrieved 20 September, 2013 from http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=3 Brounstein, M. (2002) Managing Teams For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing. Brown, V. (undated) A little bit me, a little bit you. Retrieved from http://www.belbin.com/content/page/6620/BELBIN%20- %20A%20little%20bit%20me%20a%20little%20bit%20you.pdf Centre for Ed Development, Queen’s University, Belfast. (2013). Group Work. Retrieved from http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/AcademicStudentAffairs/CentreforEducationalDevelopment/CurriculumDevelopment/ActiveLearningExamples/GroupWork/ Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario. Making Group Contracts. Retrieved from https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for- teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/developing-assignments/group-work/making-group-contracts Delise, L.A. et.al. (2010). The effects of team training on team outcomes: A meta-analysis. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 22(4), 53-80. Eberly Centre for Teaching Excellence and Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. What are the benefits of group work? Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/design/instructionalstrategies/groupprojects/benefits.html Fearon, C. et.al. (2012). Using student group work in higher education to emulate professional communities of practice. Education + Training, 54 (2/3), 114 – 125. Graham, C. R., & Misanchuk, M. (2004). Computer-mediated teamwork: Benefits and challenges of using teamwork in online learning environments. In T. S. Roberts (Ed.), Online collaborative learning: Theory and practice (pp. 181-202). Hershey, PA: Idea Group.
    19. 19. References Grzeda, M. et.al. (2008). Team building in an online organizational behaviour course. Journal of Ed for Bus, 83(5), 275-281. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., and Smith, K. (1991). Cooperative learning: Increasing college faculty instructional productivity (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 4). Washington, DC: The George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development. Misanchuk, & Anderson. (2001). Building Community in an Online Learning Environment – Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration. Annual Mid South Instructional Technology Conference (p.3). Murfreesboro, TN: ERIC Clearinghouse. Kanuka, K. (2011). Interaction and the online distance classroom: Do the instructional methods effect the quality of interaction? J Comput High Educ, 23, 143-156. Kuh, G.D. (2009). High Impact Educational Practices. Washington, D.C.: AAC&U. Mandernach, J. (2013). Online Groupwork Checklist. Retrieved from http://gotoltc.edu/techexpo13/pdf/Online%20group%20work%20checklist.pdf McMurray, A. (2013). PD3: Communication. Retrieved 19 September, 2013 from https://learn.uwaterloo.ca/d2l/le/content/38531/viewContent/499309/View Paulus, T. (2004) Collaboration or cooperation? Small group interactions in a synchronous educational environment. In T. S. Roberts (Ed.), Online collaborative learning: Theory and practice (pp. 181-202). Hershey, PA: Idea Group. Paulus, T. (2005) Collaborative and Cooperative Approaches to Online Group Work: The impact of task type. Distance Education (26)1 (pp.111-125). Svinivki, M. & McKeachie, W.J. (2011). McKeachie’s Teaching Tips (13th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Taraban-Gordon, T. (2013) PD 8: Intercultural Skills. Retrieved 19 September, 2013 from https://learn.uwaterloo.ca/d2l/le/content/30803/viewContent/499062/View
    20. 20. DINA MEUNIER – d2meunier@uwaterloo.ca MELANIE MISANCHUK – mmisanchuk@uwaterloo.ca TONYA NOËL – tnoel@uwaterloo.ca thanks for attending!