2008 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., May 6, 2008
HUB Ballroom

Session Description



What makes a good collaborative assignment?

Linda Martin-Morris - Biology

Assigning students to work in groups helps them improve their content-area understanding in ways that are rich and that include wide perspective. Group assignments also facilitate the development of skills necessary for working in teams in the work force. But if the assignment could well have been conducted by an individual (write a paper on X) we find that the group inevitably deterioriates and sentiment toward the assigner turns sour.

What goes into making an assignment that is appropriate for group submission? I'll give a few examples and I hope that folks who visit the poster will offer up ideas for assignments that have work and those that have not been good for groups. From this I hope to develop a formula, what requirements are most helpful in making an assignment that is rich enough for groups and relies enough on multiple inputs to be successful.

I use group work in non-majors Biology. I have assigned 3 - 5 group assignments per quarter, in groups ranging from 2 to 6 students. I will examing the effectiveness of group size and assignment type on equity - collaboration as evidenced by peer evaluation scores.



Index of Symposium Presenters