The ability to work in groups is one of the top requirements of employers. Students, on the other hand, tend to hate them. This comes from years of experience with dysfunctional teams caused by a lack of instruction on how to work successfully in a group. The good news is that we have resources to help you help your students.
Here are a few reasons to consider group work in your courses.
- Group assignments promote active learning which enhances retention and leads to deeper learning by engaging all students in discussions, problem-solving and collaborative tasks, which can mirror real-world situations where professionals must collaborate with others, even if they don’t agree with them. This is a valuable skill for a future career.
- Group work requires students to use soft skills like communication, teamwork and leadership, all of which expose them to different perspectives and cultures, enhancing their cultural competency and preparing them for their future entry into the workforce.
- College work can be isolating. Working with others can add a bonus benefit of peer support and networking which can make assignments more enjoyable for some students
The key is to recognize that not all students understand how to effectively work in a group, and not all students are comfortable working with others. The following resources will help you and your students manage group work more effectively.