Group Work

Portions adapted from Kerner (2009); Black, Gach, & Kotzian (2007); Chadwich (1989); Winter, Lemons, Bookman, & Hoese (2001)

Your students will do most of their experiments as a member of a team where they will be expected to combine and compare data.  Research on learning has shown that students learn better, develop interpersonal skills, and enjoy a course more when they work in a group-learning environment. In addition, teamwork typifies real-world science better than independent learning.  Team learning does not mean that students simply work side by side on a problem, or the best student works while the others watch. Rather, a well functioning group has interdependent team members who effectively communicate ideas, interact around questions, analyze data, and problem solve together. Your job as an instructor is to help students learn how to work in a team and to mediate learning difficulties. This section will provide skills specific to the laboratory class. See Guidelines for Using Groups Effectively for more information on working with student group work and teams in classroom instruction.