Collaboration and group work can provide opportunities to practice cooperation, role differentiation, empathy, leadership and communication skills. These kinds of activities come closer to real life work practices than many other kinds of traditional classroom practices. Hopefully this week you will learn and experience some new ways to teach and assess your students.

Read + Discuss

“Collaboration.” Hybrid Pedagogy Podcast. October 30, 2015. A podcast! Just 30 minutes long.

“Challenges facing group work online.” Distance Education. January 2, 2016.

Please listen to the above podcast (30 minutes), read the article, and share your thoughts in the #reading-group channel on Slack. You need not formulate a cohesive response before posting — in fact, we’d rather get your more in-process thinking, as that makes great fodder for discussion! Do you ask for collaboration in your classes? Why or why not? Where else in your life do you engage in collaborative processes, and what makes those successful (or not)? Post your thoughts or ask more questions as they come to you.

Once again, we’ll have a Live Chat on Tuesday at 1-2pm. Log in then to chat about your responses to the readings or any other thoughts on collaboration and group work!

Case Study

Check out this week’s case study and share your thoughts on our #case-study channel in Slack.

Build Something:

REMEMBER that from now on, all builds should be created in Blackboard, WordPress, Google Sites, or wherever else you are hosting your class.

OPTION 1: Imagine an assignment that requires group work and create a set of instructions that explains a group work process to students. Instead of just listing instructions, use Pictochart to create a visually engaging infographic. Some process factors you might consider: How will groups be determined? Will you structure student collaboration by requiring a group plan? Are there interim assignments leading to a larger project? What is the responsibility of each group to the rest of the class? What are the roles of individuals in the group? How will you assess students? 

OPTION 2: Create an outward-facing collaborative activity for your students. In other words, create an assignment that allows students to explore the world of collaboration outside of the classroom, preferably within the realm of your own discipline’s professional practices. For some of you that may mean getting them engaged in citizen science, service learning, or open resource collections looking for contributions. Collaboration across vast distances is a necessary professional skill regardless of your profession these days, and scholarship itself has been profoundly impacted by online collaborative spaces. This activity should make it apparent to your students

Build your activity in your WordPress or Blackboard course, then share a link to something in the #builds channel. Please check back on the channel throughout the week to see and give feedback on what your colleagues are creating.


  1. Create your build in Blackboard, WordPress, Google Sites, or wherever else you are hosting your class. Post a link to your build in the #builds channel in Slack.
  2. Use this form to self-report your progress this week.