10 routines for teaching online – #7 Cooperative learning group roles

by / Wednesday, 21 October 2020 / Published in Infographics, Instruction, Routines

CooperativeLearningGroupRolesMany teachers use online Collaborate Ultra’s breakout rooms feature with students, putting them into groups to work on some task or project. However, think about how you organize those groups.

Extensive research has been done on the efficacy of implementing cooperative learning and how group roles within cooperative learning will work.

Simply stated, when you set a group on a task, each group member should assume some type of additional role inside of the group done while they are working on the task as a group. As you see from this infographic , there are at least 12 roles that can be assigned to students as they work together. You don’t need to assign every role during every group activity. You also should not use the same roles repeatedly. Make sure you vary the roles and make sure students don’t assume the same role every time.

You’ll want to assign these roles the first few times you take this approach. However, as students work through all the roles and become more experienced through several activities, you can start to get them to take ownership of the roles that are most appropriate during latter stages of your course. You want autonomous students who know what role they need to take as group work progresses.

Giving students an additional role also increases their soft skills of leadership, staying on task, staying organized, note taking, and a slew of other practical skills needed that will carry over into the work place once students have graduated.

In short, this is a highly recommended approach that puts the responsibility of doing group work entirely on the students. You should take time to explain why you are doing cooperative learning roles, and have them reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each role as they experience them.

Infographic accessed from a very interesting part of a larger research study on Enhancing group autonomy found at: http://ateneu.xtec.cat/wikiform/wikiexport/cmd/lle/clpa/modul_3/apartat_3

This is a new series of tips for teaching online. This series focuses on the small things, in this case, small routines that you can, and should, easily incorporate into your every day instruction online. These routines address student motivationparticipation, and metacognitive training leading to higher order thinking skills that focus on the conceptual and metacognitive knowledge dimensions from Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001).

Previous posts in this series include:

#10 Reflection

#9 A language pause

#8 Kahoot! ‘Did you know or did you guess?’