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Group Work strategy

Group Work
Group work is a teaching and learning strategy that encourages students to participate in achieving a
shared goal. A range of grouping strategies is possible, the appropriateness of each will depend on the
nature of the shared goal and the needs of the students. Successful group work increases the
opportunities for students to interact with each other and to value each member’s contribution.
Planning
1. Identify the task or purpose of the activity.
2. Determine the structure of the group to suit the task or purpose, eg mixed ability, gender, ability,
friendship, interests or talents, needs.
3. Decide on the size of the group to suit the task or purpose, eg individuals, pairs, threes.
4. Consider students who should be grouped to meet their particular needs and to foster positive
group dynamics, eg students who are quiet, dominant, disruptive; students with special talents or
specific support needs.
5. Ensure that adequate resources are accessible to all groups.
6. Consider using additional spaces available inside or outside the classroom.
Managing
1. Ensure that the students are comfortable by initially working in pairs, then small groups.
2. Ensure that students have experienced a variety of roles within various groups, eg leader, recorder,
observer, researcher, illustrator, before being expected to negotiate their own roles.
3. Communicate the overall goal, and the necessary tasks to be performed.
4. Clarify the parameters of the task, eg time available, conventions of group work, resources to be used.
5. Monitor group dynamics and progress. Be flexible and prepared to intervene and restructure if necessary.
6. Provide feedback to groups as they are working and at the completion of the activity.


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