lab teaching

Winter 2013 GSI Teaching Orientation
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Materials Used During the Winter 2013 Session

Designing a Background Questionnaire
Identifies ways to assess students so that the instructor can form effective and cooperative groups. 

Case Studies
Case studies of GSI observations of students working in groups.


Additional Resources

Group Feedback Form
Form for obtaining individual feedback on a group.

Fall 2012 Presentation
PowerPoint slides from the Fall 2012 GSITO concurrent session on Facilitating Group Work to Maximize Student Learning in Labs, Discussions, and Teams.

Readiness Assurance Process
Describes the Readiness Assurance Process which is designed to ensure that individual members of groups are accountable to each other and the learning process. Read more »


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.