Seven Strategies to Enhance Learning through Group Work


Extract from Issue#1 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

All issues of Teaching Tuesdays can be accessed through the folder at this link.


Seven Strategies to Enhance Learning through Group Work

By: Barbara Jacoby, PhD


Group work doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration. It can actually be a powerful tool that improves learning for everyone involved. The term for it now is “collaborative learning,” and there are proven strategies that get students to work together and be all the better for it.

This 60 minute online seminar proposes

5 Elements of Effective Small-Group Collaborative Learning

Element 1 – Positive interdependence among group members

Element 2 – Individual accountability & personal responsibility

Element 3 – Promotive interaction

Element 4 – Reflection & group processing

Element 5 – Individual & group assessment


7 Strategies for Effective Small-Group Collaborative Learning

Strategy 1 – Intentionally team groups to be heterogeneous & of the right size

Strategy 2 – Establish learning outcomes that motivate students

Strategy 3 – Prepare students for group work

Strategy 4 – Ensure the group project is authentic, relevant, & sufficiently complex

Strategy 5 – Make it doable for students by eliminating obstacles

Strategy 6 – Engage students in metacognition & critical reflection

Strategy 7 – Assess & grade both individual & group performance

CSU Staff now have access to an institutional subscription to the Magna Commons library that includes access to online seminars, including this one.

Accessory PDF documents available for download include:

– the talk handout

– supplemental material

– the talk transcript

– a Certificate of Completion

For subscription code contact Ellen McIntyre at