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Creating & Sustaining Groups in Blackboard

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The two major complaints we hear from students about group projects are (1) the problems of getting members together for meetings and (2) the inequity of effort among group members. Virtual groups, easily established using Blackboard, can address both of these legitimate concerns. Additionally, online groups can enrich class discussion and provide a virtual environment for sharing documents. This on-line workshop will walk participants through the process of setting up Blackboard groups and will discuss some of the principles that make group projects successful. Session archived at http://www.niu.edu/facdev/programs/archives.shtml

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Creating & Sustaining Groups in Blackboard

  1. 1. Creating and Sustaining Groups in Blackboard Jason Rhode, Assistant Director Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Brief introduction to Wimba Classroom collaboration tool </li></ul><ul><li>Getting acquainted </li></ul><ul><li>Principles of successful group collaborations in online learning environments </li></ul><ul><li>Steps to configuring virtual groups in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations for success </li></ul>
  3. 3. Session Objectives <ul><li>Discuss pitfalls and possibilities of online group collaborations </li></ul><ul><li>View examples of virtual group configurations in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the various group tools available in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the advanced possibilities available when incorporating adaptive release rules </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Groups?
  5. 5. Questions to Consider <ul><li>What is the biggest challenge to using groups in the face-to-face environment? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you suspect would be the biggest challenge in fostering group collaboration in the online learning environment? </li></ul>
  6. 6. 7 Problems <ul><li>Student antipathy towards group work </li></ul><ul><li>The selection of groups </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of essential group-work skills </li></ul><ul><li>The free-rider </li></ul><ul><li>Possible inequalities of student abilities </li></ul><ul><li>The withdrawal of group members </li></ul><ul><li>The assessment of individuals within the groups </li></ul>(Roberts & McInnerney, 2007)
  7. 7. Recommendations <ul><li>Provide clear expectations for participation (roles & rubrics) </li></ul><ul><li>Have groups set and agree to expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Sequential progress checks rather than final deliverable only </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared for free-riders </li></ul><ul><li>Watch the size – not too large or too small </li></ul>
  8. 8. Recommendations <ul><li>Assess both individual and collective efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Use self, peer, & group assessment techniques </li></ul>
  9. 9. Setup in Blackboard <ul><li>Creating groups </li></ul><ul><li>Adding members to groups </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of advanced group setups </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sources / More Information <ul><li>http://www.citeulike.org/user/jrhode/tag/groups </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/groups </li></ul>

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