Dear Dr. Larry is a regular column. Faculty and students can submit questions to Dr. Larry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Larry will answer each week with leading-edge, witty, insightful responses.
Dear Dr. Larry,
I include a group project in my design class, but all i hear is “complain, complain, complain” from my students. How can I make them stop complaining and start working?
In-Need-of-Earplugs in Architecture
Yes, group projects are tricky for many students. I bet you’re hearing complaints about balancing work, family, and school. You may even be hearing about some students not carrying their fair share of the workload. However, there is great value in collaboration, and with some planning and forethought, group projects can be both effective and engaging. Follow these steps and you will soon have your complaining students singing about the benefits of collaboration in one, unified team voice!
- Set clear expectations for the project and each group member. Consider using a rubric and group contracts for this.
- Clearly state whether you are going to give each group member the same grade or different grades based on contribution. If you’re assigning different grades, be sure to include a group review so that you can tell who is carrying their load.
- Use the collaboration tools LTU provides to make it easier for group members to communicate and share work (Blackboard groups, Google Hangouts, etc.)
See the links below for more info, or call those nice folks over in eLearning for more help.
Best wishes for better projects and happy students,
Video: Group project suggestions (10 min)