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Home » People » Pete Schmidt » Active Learning » Group Work Protocol

Group Work Protocol

Suggested protocol for 75 minute class session.

This format works well for questions students have been provided with prompts and questions prior to class.

1.  Assemble Groups
    *Relatively Random*
    1.  Count all students in class
    2.  Number off up to 5 or 6 (NO MORE)
    3.  Students group together by number (Ex: all the 1s together, all the 2s together etc)  
        a. This works for first third of semester
        b. Over time might stack the groups based on participation level, capability
    3. Different groups every class
        GOAL = give students broad experience 
            a. Increases comfort level
            b. Increases networking
        c. Decreases slackers that arise in dedicated groups

2.  Assign Roles
    1. Assign individual numbers to students within the group
        a.  GOAL is to randomize roles
        a.  Might assign numbers based on alphabetical first name or last name, birthday, wakeup time, shoe size
            - EX: Students number off from one to six alphabetically by first name (First names starting with "A" are one, first names starting with "Z" are six)
        b.  Make it fun
    2. Assign roles to numbers (This can and should be random each time, so for instance "Person 1" is not scribe every time)
            Gets names
            Writes report- turned in at end of class, partially used for participation
            Reports findings to class    
            Makes sure scribe is getting it
            Tries to clarify points being made
            Clarifies report with group at end of group time
        Primary Source
            Finds location of info in text for report
        Task Master
            Keeps group on track
            Accountable to time
            Everyone is doing what they are supposed to

3.  Assign Task
    a.  Answer all of questions OR
    b.  Each group gets one question OR
    c.  If not based on discussion questions, implement alternate Active learning technique (ie Corners)
    c.  May overlap group assignments
    d.  Dependent on available time, task

4.  Set Time
    a.  Absolutely must have a limit
    b.  Enough to accomplish task with reasonable restriction
    GOAL – don’t want every answer, want the best answers
        1.Think critically
        2.Find the main points
        3.Articulated as plainly as possible

5.  Clarification/Consolidation
a.  At end of assigned group time, allow 2-3 minutes for clarification and consolidation
      b.  Here the Clarifier reads the written report out loud to be sure it makes sense and everyone in the group understands the answer.  
        GOAL- everyone in group should be able to answer question if called on
        GOAL- report is clear as possible

6.  Reporting/Reflection
a.  Reporters report
    b.  Instructor or student keeps track of main points on board
    GOAL- Modeling note taking
    GOAL- Reinforcing/clarifying material

    c.  Finally, instructor and students reflect on response(s) 
    GOAL-  Reinforce positives, de-emphasize negatives
    GOAL-  reinforce main points and content

Last Updated: 06/16/2015
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District