Challenges in Group work

Swingler, M. and Pringle Barnes, G. (2022) Challenges in Group work. British Psychological Society Division of Academics Researchers and Teachers Annual Conference 2022, 24-25 Nov 2022.

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Group-work assessment is increasingly common in higher education and develops essential graduate skills in collaboration, communication and problem solving. However, the group work process can be challenging for students (Wilson et al, 2018), and staff faced the challenge of supporting groups remotely in the pivot to online and blended learning (Wildman 2021). Our initial objective was to work in partnership with students to evaluate current group work practices and resources and co-create recommendations on how best to support the process and assessment of group work in online and blended environments. Building on these recommendations, we co-developed the Staying Connected Toolkit with students. The toolkit focuses on practical activities to support group work, such as allocating group roles, improving communication and encouraging group reflection. In this masterclass delegates will apply the toolkit to their own teaching contexts and identify strategies their students can use to improve collaborative working. Qualitative and quantitative feedback from students and staff suggests that the resources were helpful to students in initiating group organization and allocating tasks, and useful to staff in signposting support within their course. User analytics report higher student engagement with activities that supported initial group organization than activities designed to address issues in group work. The staying connected toolkit has over 300 users and has been adopted by a range of subject disciplines to scaffold group organisation and encourage reflective practice. Future work will focus on how to increase accessibility of the tookit throughout the groupwork process.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Keywords:Group work, Higher Education, psychology.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pringle Barnes, Dr Gayle and Swingler, Dr Maxine
Authors: Swingler, M., and Pringle Barnes, G.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
University Services > Student and Academic Services > Student Services
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the authors
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