Monday, May 9, 2011

Student Suggestions for Online Teams

Recently, we had some of our new graduates talk to our Thunderbird faculty about their experiences with online group projects. They had some interesting comments, and I thought I would share them with you:

  • The ideal virtual team size is 3-5 students (Shorter projects = smaller teams)

  • Give specific guidelines to teams at beginning of class that include responsibilities, grading rubrics, and technology

  • Require teams make initial post early in the week (Wednesday) to make sure discussions aren’t last minute

  • Make the Peer Evaluation worth a significant part of the grade

  • Consider doing a Peer evaluation at the midpoint of the assignment to determine whether everyone is involved.

  • Create a process that will allow a team to ‘fire’ a member that isn’t participating

  • Grade inflation and giving every post 100% does not encourage discussion

  • Consider forming teams by having students select specific topics they are interested in

  • Have more emphasis and training on team building during orientation sessions

Some of these ideas are just common sense, but it's a good checklist for any online group assignments you may considering.

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