In all the surveys, interviews, and focus groups conducted for this project, not one of the student participants said they would be happy to leave university without having experienced a group project. However, they like them to be fair, efficient, and worthwhile.
This website includes resources, tips, and case studies from lecturers who have group projects in their courses. Group projects can be run in many different ways; don’t discount either the benefits that come from a small project or the deep learning that comes from a large project.
Successful groupwork examples
As part of the research underpinning these groupwork resources, we interviewed various academics who are already using groupwork, to provide some examples of the challenges and benefits of using groupwork. These people have learnt by trial and error what works for them and their students.
Kate Daellenbach describes how she uses groupwork in a 300-level Arts Marketing course, providing lots of reasons why she uses groupwork, and some practical tips.
Chris Eichbaum uses groupwork in 300-level Public Policy courses as well as a Master’s class, utilising web-based tools like wikis, and alternative styles of presentation like posters.
Outside Commerce, Linda Hogg describes groupwork in a 300-level Educational Psychology course where groupwork helps students from different countries develop intercultural communication skills.
Finally, back in Commerce, Vicky Mabin describes groupwork in postgraduate Management Decision Making courses that enable diverse groups to practise systems thinking.
Groupwork resource toolkit for teachers
- Before the course: this section contains information and resources that you might find useful before the course starts; you can use these resources during your planning phase.
- Setting the scene: this section contains resources to help facilitate group work in lectures and tutorials. It gives tips for running tutorials in a way that supports the group process, and it includes a suggested structure for the first tutorial. The page also gives tips on how to encourage student interaction in your course, which is a great way to help them feel comfortable working together. It gives tips on introducing group work in a way that encourages a positive reaction from students, and suggests possible icebreakers to use.
- During the assignment: this section includes tips on how to handle group issues that may emerge during the project.
- Other useful resources