Title

Strategies for Instructors on How to Improve Online Groupwork

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2010

Abstract

Online groupwork is becoming an increasingly popular instructional strategy. Although researchers have questioned the benefits of groupwork in online learning environments, little empirical research has examined the challenges it presents. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experience of students involved in online groupwork to find strategies that could be implemented to assist students in completing online groupwork. The findings indicated that the strategies for the instructors included two areas: course design and groupwork process. The course design strategies include 1) providing multiple communication methods; 2) providing an overall plan for the class; 3) preparing for technology; and 4) building virtual team skills. The groupwork process strategies include 1) assisting group formation; 2) building a sense of connection; 3) being involved in group processes; and 4) evaluating group processes. Finally, this study suggested future research is needed in the conditions that facilitate effective group composition.