Using educational groups as learning tools is becoming more prevalent nowadays. People also refer to it as cooperative learning. Professors love it because it engages students and encourages teamwork. Besides, it improves the learner’s interpersonal communication skills and fosters critical thinking.
For educational groups to work and be maximally effective, careful planning is required by both the students and teachers. The tips below could be useful for you if you want to make the most out of cooperative learning.
Group the Students Well
Grouping students may not be as easy as it sounds. There are so many things that you have to put into consideration. Are the students compatible? Do they respect each other? Before placing learners in the same educational group, ask them if they are comfortable with working together. They should be able to access each other outside the classroom, especially if the cooperative learning is meant to go on for a while. It’s also better if they have the same skill level, even if their capabilities are different.
For educational groups to be productive, students need to know what they want to achieve together. Their teachers should help them do that. If you’re an instructor, ensure that the group’s activity objectives are related to the course you teach. Remember that the goal is not to pass time but to learn and understand the class content better.
To see to it that goals are achieved on time, choose a group leader or let the students do it. Their responsibility will be to ensure that every group member plays his/her part.
Set Ground Rules
If the cooperative learning is long-term, it is essential to set rules to govern how the group members interact. The rules should promote teamwork and mutual respect at the same time.
The points above can help you make educational groups work. Don’t hesitate to use them.