Teamwork and Collaboration (2023)

Team work and collaborationThey are active learning strategies in which students work and learn together in small groups to achieve shared goals. Effective teamwork and collaboration are considered important to the learning process of students. Teamwork helps students develop their problem-solving, communication, and critical thinking skills, and allows them to work and learn with their peers. However, the online environment presents unique challenges for many online instructors who use teamwork. The resources below provide information for teachers on getting started with instructional groups, creating group assignments, and using groups successfully.

How to create team projects

Different types of teamwork.

Team projects can be used to build a learning community. You can use group discussions, group presentations, and group sharing activities in your course. When designing team projects, think about the following components: 1) team projects must align with learning objectives. The topics you provide your students should be interrelated with the learning objectives. 2) The team project is complex and goes beyond individual work, so students can divide the task for each member. 3) It is important to provide clear expectations for team projects. 4) It is recommended to create authentic team projects that provide real world scenarios to engage students in applying what they have learned to tasks.

In the online environment, you can bring students into Zoom breakout rooms to ask them to work on a collaborative project. In the hybrid course, you can turn this into an asynchronous online group discussion. Some ideas for team projects might include:

  • role playing game
  • Projects
  • group presentations

You can incorporate external tools likegoogle docs,remove, and much more to encourage active participation in your courses.

Team Size Recommendations

According to Bean (1996), three to five students on a team seem to function effectively in an online environment. The small group size makes it easy for students to collaborate and facilitate. You can also maximize project commitment.

Deadline for the project submission process

Start the team project at a manageable level. For the complicated team project, it is recommended to organize the projects in several stages. Identify milestone deadlines and provide feedback to students to ensure they are on track. For example, for a team research presentation, you might consider doing the project in four steps: 1) the team presentation, 2) the team research project proposal, 3) the final team research project, and 4) the team research project. team presentation.

Strategies for effective teamwork and collaboration

  • Establish guidelines or norms for student-student interactionsand student-instructor interactions during teamwork.
  • Facilitate communication with team members. At the beginning of the semester, ask team members to exchange contact information and preferred forms of communication.Provide them with resources or review communication skills.can also be useful.
  • Help students assign team roles. Instructors can assign students specific roles or they can choose for themselves. Either way, students need to be clear about their roles within teams.
  • Monitor group progress through observation, record keeping, and suggest resources that groups may find useful.Check out this checklist for managing and supporting groupsto help you manage and support student groups.
  • Require periodic progress reports. To monitor how efficiently team members are working together on a project, ask students to periodically submit a progress report. The report can include the timestamp or the contributions of each member.
  • Provide students with the resources they need to be successful.

Facilitate online group presentations

Now that the students have done the work, how should they present their learning? In an online learning mode, group presentations can be tricky. Ultimately, there are two options for facilitating group presentations online: a synchronous presentation or an asynchronous presentation.

  • synchronous presentations
    • Groups present live via Zoom to the rest of the class
    • Create a presentation schedule before class time so groups know when to present.
  • asynchronous submissions
    • Groups pre-record their presentation and share it with the class. Colleagues can view other groups' submissions and leave comments.
      • View asynchronous pool presentationrecording instructionsusing Zoom or Voicethread
      • Share recording links in a Canvas discussion thread, in aremove, or within onevoice lineto encourage criticism among peers

Online teamwork assessment

Teamwork and collaboration involves students working together individually or in small groups. When evaluating teamwork, there are two things to evaluate: the final product of the teamwork and the participation of the students. Typically, an instructor will assess teamwork based on the final project rather than assessing individual student contributions. However, students in the online environment often express concern that not all members contribute equally when working in groups.

Therefore, developing a transparent assessment process that assesses individual and team learning can foster student collaboration. Some of the strategies to effectively assess teamwork involve the use of student self-assessment and peer assessment. Using the combination of individual assessment and team project assessment can provide the instructor with valuable information about how teams work and how to provide feedback and grades.

Here are some strategies to effectively assess teamwork online:

  • Final product rating:When evaluating the final product, it is important to consider both the final product and the individual contributions of team members. In this case, it is helpful to assess the process by having students document andsend assignments and schedulesover time working together. Also, use rubrics to assess teamwork (sample rubric for statistics project) helps make the classification process more transparent.
  • Evaluation of student participation:To effectively assess student engagement, it is important to include opportunities for self-assessment and peer assessment. To engage students in self-assessment, it's a good idea to provide instructions to help them review their experience (example of prompt 1) (example of prompt 2). When students are asked to rate their peers, typically aresponse formor another classification worksheet (worksheet example 1)(example worksheet 2) (example worksheet 3) It is useful.

Tools to support teamwork.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a useful resource for collaborating with group members on documents and presentations. When using Google Drive, creating a shared folder is the best way to coordinate team members and work together on project features. You can obtain more information about the use of Google Drive by consulting theTIDS Google Drive Training, taking a look atGoogle ITDS Resource Page, or visiting ourCollaborations page in our Canvas Teacher Orientation.

display groups

Groups in Canvas are a subset of a course with a course-like environment. Groups include their own discussion space, calendar, and collaboration tools; it's a fantastic space for course teams to work together. Groups also come with some perks for an instructor. For example, creating a group discussion task will create an identical discussion topic for each group and allow students to talk more intimately with each other. Additionally, creating a group assignment will allow instructors to quickly assess all members of a group at the same time. Learn more about Canvas Groups by visiting theCanvas Faculty Steering Groups Page.

collaborative tools

There are many tools students can use to improve collaboration and teamwork across learning modalities.

In the brainstorming and planning stage of teamwork, students can usemental mapsas a strategy to organize your thoughts and resources. There are several free online mind mapping tools available for students to use, or if you teach F2F, students can create a physical mind map on paper.

removeit can be used as a space for teams to share resources and leave feedback with each other. Students can embed various types of media and link to files as needed. Alternatively, it can also be used as a space for teams to share their final products and collect feedback and feedback.

When students are ready to present their findings, they can usevoice lineto create an asynchronous presentation. Team members can upload their presentation materials and then add voice or video comments to each "slide" of their presentation. Voicethread can also be used as a virtual gallery for final project submissions, where students can view and give feedback on their peers' work.

References and resources


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