One of the outcomes of the CTL is to create communities of learners. We want to create opportunities for faculty to learn together and for faculty to create community within their classrooms. Research has shown that student-student and student-faculty interactions are important for student retention and persistence. Using teams/groups in our classes is an excellent way to create community. This topic came up during the Opening Days All-faculty Session, so this email will focus on how to more effectively use these in our classes. Groups can be informal (e.g., think-pair-share) or more formal. The resources below will help for pretty much any type of group activity. As always, at the end of the email is a list of upcoming faculty-development opportunities (including those from our CTL like Friday’s webinar).
Do you have students who have not been attending? See the 9/3 email from Jeanne Maanum for reporting a student’s last date of attendance (LDA).
Do you want to use the Testing Center for Instructor-arranged Testing this semester? See the 9/5 email from Kristy Snyder.
What are your students thinking about your class? These links refer to first-day activities, but these simple strategies would also work well at this point in the semester
Are you having trouble with students using technology use in your classes? Check out these articles
Do you want your student teams/groups to be more effective? Try adding more structures to your student teams/groups. Two of the leaders in cooperative learning research, David and Roger Johnson, are at the University of Minnesota, and the resources listed below are based on their work.
How is your group project like the zombie apocalypse?
Check out this new website for students from the U of MN http://teamwork.umn.edu/ and blog posting about the site including recommendations for successful team/group projects http://uminntilt.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/helping-student-teams-perform-well-a-framework-for-using-teamwork-umn-edu/
What is cooperative learning? “Cooperative Learning involves structuring classes around small groups that work together in such a way that each group member’s success is dependent on the group’s success. There are different kinds of groups for different situations, but they all balance some key elements that distinguish cooperative learning from competitive or individualistic learning.” From http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/cooperative/index.html
What are the five key elements of cooperative groups? See http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/cooperative/index.html. One strategy that is helpful for individual accountability is to assign roles. These may be specific to a discipline (e.g., shop manager, safety officer, etc.), to a project (e.g., farmer, business owner, taxpayer), or more generic (e.g., timekeeper, recorder, summarizer). To help students develop group skills, using placards might be helpful (see attached; page 8 includes cards with examples of what students might say).
What is the best way to form teams/groups?
Research has shown that random teams work best. You could count off in class, use playing cards to place students by numbers or suits, or use D2L to form random groups. This article suggests other strategies: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/621-how-and-why-to-split-your-students-into-teams?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
How can I assess team/group work?
- We used the AACU VALUE Rubric for teamwork during Opening Days (and available at http://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/). These rubrics were designed by teams of faculty, and you are encouraged to modify them for your needs. Level one is what might be expected from a first year student, level two is for a second year student, etc.
- If you are interested in using the VALUE rubrics for assessment in your classes, contact Cheryl Norman for more information about the project she introduced during Opening Days.
- Two other group assignments with rubrics are attached that Bill Hendricks and Miki Huntington use in their classes and wanted to share with others: twoSiteComparisonAssignment-Spring2014 & PSCI 1104 Group Virtual Presentation Instructions
How can I use D2L to help me include teams/groups in my classes?
Students can be placed into D2L groups either by you or randomly in D2L. Then, the various tools can be linked to the groups. For example, discussion forums/topics can be restricted to groups and grades can be entered by groups. For more information, contact Jennifer Malarski or the Digital Resource Lab (DRL@minneapolis.com).
Also, check out these videos to learn more
Grading Group Discussions in D2L 10.3 (11:09)
Using a Rubric to Grade Group Discussions in D2L 10.3 (8:56)
- For activities you can use with your cooperative teams, see the Cooperative Learning Member Roles & Cooperative_Learning_Techniques.
- Overview of cooperative learning, 5 elements, group formation, and activities:http://www.ode.state.or.us/opportunities/grants/nclb/title_iii/4cooperative-learning.pdf
- Web site from the Johnson brothers: http://www.co-operation.org/home/introduction-to-cooperative-learning/
- The Johnson brothers also offer a spring class and a summer 4-day workshop at the U each year; contact us for more information.
- Contact us in the CTL
FACULTY DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Do you want to provide input for faculty-development programming? The Faculty Development Committee will meet monthly, and we are asking for at least a semester-long commitment. These hour-long meetings serve as a “think tank,” and there is minimal (if any) work outside of meetings. If you are interested in joining, please share your availability by completing this scheduling poll. Meetings will be sent as Outlook appointments. As always, anyone can provide input and suggestions to this email or by contacting one of us.
Do you want more faculty-development activities?
- Atma Jyotih Sangha will be Thursdays, 12:45-1:15 pm in B.Dance (in Bollman Hall) with Jennifer Mason
- Friday, September 12, 10-noon in S1120 – The CTL will be showing a hosting a webinar and discussion – Supporting Men of Color in Community Colleges: Teaching and Learning Strategies for Classroom Faculty(http://interwork.sdsu.edu/sp/m2c3/resources-on-men-of-color/webinar-recording/). Two previous webinars from the Minority Male Community College Collaborative are also available through this link.
- September 28-29, 2014, St. Cloud State University, Realizing the Civic Mission of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities(http://www.aascu.org/meetings/adptdcregional14/?utm_source=July+2014+NTU&utm_campaign=NTU+July+2014&utm_medium=email)
- October 16-18 in Minneapolis: Global Learning in College(http://www.aacu.org/meetings/global/index.cfm)