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[SOUND] Developing effective team work and
collaboration skills, are considered important in the student
learning process. However, many students find group work
challenging, and difficult. In this episode, we examine what
constitutes good online team work. And how internet technologies, can help
make it more effective. We also offer some strategies, for facilitating collaboration and assessing
group work. >> One of the most vexed areas of
university education is group work. Students, broadly speaking, don't like it. They are brought up and enter university
on a very individually competitive basis. So when they're told to work with their,
if you like, competitors in a group, it can be
very challenging. >> Showing people the benefits of group
work, is, is difficult, but think about what you do in a real life
context. When you leave the university and you're
working in a, in an office, you do that in groups. You do that in teams. It's an authentic approach to learning,
regardless of all the other benefits that it might have. >> So there's a movement at the
moment to think about how internet technologies can
make group work more effective. Perhaps less time consuming. And maybe a little bit more transparent
or, or fairer to the students who are
participating in the group. I think the answer to how do you do good
teamwork in online learning is actually the same as how do
you do it face to face. You design appropriate tasks, you
encourage the students to work together. You build assessment strategies that show
them the rewards, and you explain to them why teamwork is
important. >> What are the types of things these
students are going to do in real life with the knowledge they're
learning in this course. Try to plan for that type of activity in your course using the online, affordances
of the technology. Tone of voice, facial expressions, body
language. Obviously they're dramatically diminished
in an online context and therefore that presents some
communication challenges. >> You really have to work with them
online to, to get that personality. You have to learn where those people come from, where they're at and what their
abilities, their skills and experiences and how you
are going to fit in with them on the team. >> The group needs to bond they talk about
intersubjectivity, the idea that I'll give you a bit about
me, you give me a bit about you, we've shared
something we've become sort of open and vulnerable, and in that,
we build trust. By mentoring them and responding to their
questions and queries, we'll, we'll, we'll push them towards working with each
other in, in, in a more collaborative way. >> We couldn't force students to
collaborate but what we did, a strategy we did adopt was to try and sort our groups based on
those who were more likely to collaborate. >> What they need, I think, is nurturing
through the group building process because it's, it for most of them
it's, it's a new experience. One of the, important things is, is to
set up front how you're going to assess these
sorts of activities. >> There's a tremendous mythology about
group work. What about the group member who doesn't do
any work? This will bring my marks down. It's not fair. One of the interesting things about some
internet technologies that can be used for teamwork, and, and there are many, Wikis, blogs, or specialist programs like Wiggio
or Huddle. They leave traces of what individual
members have done in a group. >> You might want to have students are
saying well as an audit, if you like, this is what I did, and it might be that you want to moderate those marks based on that sort of
a feedback. >> What we decided to do was we give a large percentage of the mark
to the group, which they all shared, but on top
of that, sufficient percentage of a mark to
make a difference. And to make a difference sufficient to
push them up into the next category, you know, from a past to a credit, a
credit to distinction and so on. The more work you do, the more you will be
rewarded, and then the pay off for the students is
that they are going to benefit because the whole
group will also get a mark based on the extra effort that
these people have made. Don't feel that it, you know, it's too
difficult. It's really worthwhile that you actually
get groups working, students working as groups, because it develops their
understanding in a social context. >> This is not an optional extra or some
way that academics have decided is an easier way to get out of
getting out of marking or something like that, it's actually how the real world
works and that learning to become a team member and still produce good work
is part of being at university. [BLANK_AUDIO]

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