New CFT Teaching Guide on Group Work
We’ve all been there: victims of unproductive and frustrating group work. Perhaps an instructor poses a question, tells us to turn to our neighbor and discuss it, and we all sit silently…because the answer’s obvious and there’s nothing to discuss. Or perhaps we have an end-of-semester project to develop, and two of the four group members don’t show up for meetings, fail to do their prep, and generally don’t pull their weight.
Hopefully, we’ve also been on the other side of the equation, where group work has allowed us to learn deeply and to produce work that is better than we could produce individually.
How do you develop structures that allow you to incorporate key elements that lead to productive group work? The literature on cooperative learning is a rich resource for answers to that question, and the CFT has recently developed a teaching guide that summarizes much of that literature and provides examples of strategies and tools that can help make your group work rewarding and effective. Check it out and let us know what works for you!