Group projects can present a variety of challenges for both instructors and students. However, they can also offer a myriad of benefits, particularly for online courses, that make them well worth including. A three-part series—1) why group work is necessary, 2) strategies for effective group work, and 3) student perspectives on group work—will get you thinking about the whys and hows of incorporating group projects.
Why We Need Group Work in Online Learning details the various benefits of group projects for online projects. The author makes a strong case that group projects provide an active learning experience that allows students to develop the skills in collaboration necessary to excel in their careers. Strategies for Effective Group Work in the Online Class provides a variety of strategies to support effective online group projects. These include setting groups early in the semester, limiting group size, and encouraging teams to use online collaborative tools (such as the Collaborations tool in Canvas). Good, Bad and Ugly: Student Comments on Group Work in e-Learning outlines successful evaluation and outcomes for online group projects. The author details what students liked best and least about group projects, which could prove useful in heading off challenges that can arise with group projects.