Groupwork. Students can be separated into small groups for brief discussions (10-15 minutes), after which they’ll present to the whole class on what they’ve discussed. Students can even be given group tasks which last several weeks.

Benefits of groupwork can include teaching students:

  • To be good listeners
  • To cooperate on a common task
  • To give and receive constructive feedback
  • To respect differences of opinion
  • To support their conclusions with evidence

Groupwork can also be used to:

  • Generate ideas in preparation for a lecture, film, research paper or project
  • Summarize main points in a text, reading or lecture
  • Brainstorm applications of theoretical subject matter to everyday life
  • Compose questions to propose to the class
  • Extract main points from lecture material
  • Peer-to-peer teaching
  • Gauge student understanding of course materials

During groupwork, TA’s should regularly monitor and help steer student discussions as needed.

Be careful!!! Never rely entirely on groupwork or individual work throughout a semester – it’s important to present material in a variety of ways to reach as many students (and learning styles) as possible.

Tools for measuring understanding

Notecards Assignments, Quizzes, etc.

More classroom activities

Pairwork or Pair-Share Debates Each-one Teach-one Journaling & Reflection Quizzes & Games
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