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. They can also be some of the hardest to facilitate. Let’s talk about what successful collaboration looks like.

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 #3-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.

We’ll return to Live Chats this week. Log in on Tuesday at 2-3pm to chat about your responses to the readings or any other thoughts on collaboration and group work! If you an’t make it at that time, no problem — we’ll chat asynchronously in the #3-reading-group channel. Talk soon!

Case Study

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

Build Something:

Create your build in Blackboard or wherever else you’re hosting your class, then share a link in the #5-builds channel. Your designer will share feedback openly in that channel after you post.

OPTION 1: Create a collaborative assignment and set of instructions that explains a group work process to students. Instead of just listing instructions, try using 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