How To Avoid Group Work Complaints: 4 Tips To Follow!

Photo of students working in a group

CC Image courtesy of Matheson Learning Commons on Flickr

Ever wonder why so many students hate group work? If you were like most students in college, the thought of group work was something you did not look forward to either.  Why?  Well, there are a number of reasons.

Being in a group meant:

  1. making concessions and giving up control of a portion of a project or assignment
  2. having the performance of other students in the group affect your grade
  3. being possibly stuck with one or more losers who never do any work and still end up with the same grade as everyone else in the group
  4. having to rearrange your schedule to accommodate the availability of others in the group

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Managing Group Projects: 8 Things You Should Do!

managinggroups

Show them the impossible and inspire them to get there. They deserve it!

So you’ve assigned your first group project and thoroughly explained the requirements to your students and you now want to make sure that your students are productive and efficient. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to facilitate the interaction and progress of each group.

1. Raise The Bar

Before assigning the groups, it’s important to set the tone for the quality of work you expect from students. Raise the bar high, and your students will meet it and possibly exceed it. Set the bar too low, and you’ll be disappointed with the quality of your students’ work, and they’ll never really know what they are truly capable of achieving. Never make the mistake of assuming that a student’s socio-economic background, age, or cultural background will prevent them from achieving spectacular results if they are properly trained and prepared by you.

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Disciplinary Action: Keeping It Professional!

Disciplinary Action: Keep It Professional!

Disciplinary Action: Keep It Professional!

Every now and then you’ll find yourself in a position where you’ll need to address unacceptable behavior on the part of one of your students. Some of these behaviors include: cheating, plagiarism, sleeping in class, lying, being disrespectful, disruptive, or abusive. Whichever the case may be, it is always disappointing when students engage in these types of behaviors, and at times, you may feel frustrated, angry, or even helpless.  At times like these, it is important to remember that an improper behavior on the part of your student, does not warrant an in-kind retaliatory response on your part.

I’m not saying you should ignore the behavior, on the contrary. I’m a strong advocate for addressing unacceptable behavior immediately. What I am saying is that your personal feelings towards your student’s behavior should not be the basis for your response. It will be difficult in the beginning to try to be completely impartial and to remain emotionally detached from the situation, but it gets easier with time and practice.

10 Ways to Increase Student Engagement Online

Online classes can be remote. Reach out to your students.

Online classes can be remote. Reach out to your students.

One of the challenges that faculty teaching online (or hybrid) courses face is designing their courses so that there’s frequent and active engagement between the student and faculty and also between the students themselves. Why? Because as a faculty, you are required to be able to afford the same level of engagement online that you would in a traditional class where students meet with you and each other in person.

Some faculty are under the false assumption that teaching online is easy, and all you have to do is tell students what you want them to read or study and then have them complete assignments and quizzes to demonstrate their competency or mastery of the learning objectives. That is NOT teaching! Nor does it qualify as a distance learning course that would be eligible to pass the scrutiny of your regional accrediting body. That format may qualify as a correspondence course but not for a distance learning course. (more…)

3 Ways To Avoid College Student Problems Before They Occur

difficultstudent

Even adult students need structure. Don’t be afraid to provide it!

There are numerous articles on the internet that address this issue, and some are better than others. The tips I am about to share with you are strategies that have worked for me, and I hope they’ll work for you as well. I’ve found that most student-related-problems fall into two broad categories: 1) behavioral problems and 2) academic performance. Most of the behavioral problems can be mitigated before they even start in your classroom. How?

I’m glad you asked! In a nutshell, “Nip it in the bud!” Take action from the very beginning, and address potential areas of concern before they even occur.

Here are 3 ways to do just that! (more…)