Group Work in Online Courses: On the Road to Success

Michael De Robertis

Collaborative learning is an essential component of the student experience.  It is, however, a challenge for the fully on-line environment.  While Moodle facilitates communication among members in small groups, we have found it takes considerable effort and planning in order to ensure an optimal student experience.  We will discuss in this presentation how we have tailored group work in a large on-line class that is satisfying for both students and instructors.  In particular, we discuss how group membership is assigned, the distinct roles that must be filled in a group, the milestones that a group has to meet prior to final submission, how individual contributions are assessed and the importance of a clear rubric.