Explain Why Group Roles Are Being Used
- Increases interactions and builds relationships
- Enhances engagement through collaborative learning
- Promotes accountability and respect
- Enables peer-to-peer learning
- Encourages participants to share stories and resources
- Builds shared knowledge
- Offers alternative view-points
- Models social learning
- Builds learners’ ability to work in groups across time and space – a valued workplace skill
Address Assessment of Group Assignments
- Be clear on what it expected of them and how they will be assessed. Online learners want to know how they will be assessed individually and as part of a group.
- Since there are multiple roles, perhaps a model discussion post(s) can be created to provide an example of the posts for each role. This can be in a document or on the discussion board itself.
- Develop a grading rubric for participating in the discussion and contributing to the learning community.
- Peer evaluation
- Ask for professional behavior that includes positive comments about other group members. This prevents the evaluation from becoming too personal or a sounding board.
- Ask them to provide a tip for how another group member could have contributed or done more. Give constructive feedback.
Provide Self-reflection evaluation
- Ask students to self-evaluate how they did in the role they were assigned.
- Can be a 1 – 5 rating with a one-sentence reason for why they chose the rating they did.
Create a Bill of Rights/Responsibility Agreement
The following is based more towards a final project but there might be some language here that can be borrowed. Also include the information on when they should post by, when replies of roles need to be posted by, etc. Not adhering to this schedule results in breaking the group contract.
Starting Points for Building Strong Groups
Include a group activity the first week that includes the creation of a:
- Group name
- Group motto
- A logo, shield or mascot (can be found online) to represent the group
- Helps build an identity and group cohesion
Group Roles in Discussions
It is everyone’s job to be present and engaged in the weekly discussion and we are assigning weekly roles to facilitate a dialogue and conversation during these weekly discussions. Each Core Member will take a role for their small group discussion based on working within a small group for an established about of time of the semester. Think of this as a conversation. If you were meeting face to face, you would not say the same things that the person in your group said, you would add to it and engage in meaningful back and forth conversation.
- Fact Checker/Connector: Your role here it to connect back the conversation to the information from readings, presentations, podcasts and videos presented in class.
- Facilitator/Provocateur: Your role is to keep the discussion moving by asking the other group members questions, by asking for clarification, to provoke new thinking and to gain new insights and understanding of the topic.
- Summarizer: Your role is to provide a succinct summary of the discussion for other students to approve or amend. This should be short and get to the core of what happened in the discussion.
- Elaborator: This person seeks connections between the current discussion, past topics and connections to our current practice.
Additional group roles that can be considered can be found at the following link, which opens a Word document: