Being able to work effectively in a team setting is an important skill in many jobs. So to help students develop the ability to work in a team, many college courses incorporate group projects. If you’ve used a group project in a course you’ve taught, you know that successful group work doesn’t just happen. Krystin Anderson offers advice on how to develop effective group projects.
by Krystin Anderson
So you want to use a group project for your students.
If you feel some apprehension about using group projects, you are not alone! Group projects can cause anxiety for teachers and students alike, both of whom are afraid that what is meant to be a positive, collaborative learning opportunity will become a nightmarish conflict of personalities and interests resulting in tears and failure.
(Click College Rant: I hate group projects for one student’s musings.)
However, group projects offer opportunities for students to complete something they could not on their own, not only because of the time constraints within a semester but because a single student may not have the all skills that a group of students could bring together.
Group projects also help students learn how to work in groups and to become interdependent—a skill most media professionals use frequently throughout their careers.