Web-Based Contact Learning ABC (Part 5): Teamwork

Web-based Contact Learning ABC is a practical study material in conducting e-learning. This material helps teachers and trainers to organize webinars and e-learning efficiently and thoughtfully. The material is prepared by the lecturers of the Non-formal Education and Lifelong Learning study area of the School of Educational Sciences at Tallinn University in cooperation with the team of EDUSPACE research lab of teaching and learning.

woman working at the desk
Preparation of group work
  • Plan the learning process in the way that the activity before class (eg lecture, independent work) prepares students for active group work. Think about the purpose of the group: collaboration group, problem-solving group, topic discussion group, etc.
  • Think as detailed as possible and write down what will happen during the group work. Prefer short, intense activities, 10-30 minutes, to keep your focus. Evaluate which support materials or additional environments need to be prepared.
  • Create a working guide for group participants, which includes links to pre-selected videos or texts, prepared shared documents, tables, slides, etc. if needed. You can also submit the work instructions orally.
Formation of groups
  • Groups should have at least 3 members, thus avoiding a situation where only one student can stay in the study room because the other has left for a technical or personal reason.
  • If possible, take consider the learners' wishes regarding group members when forming groups. This helps to avoid a situation where someone else's activity is expected. Manual grouping is time-consuming, apply it only to smaller groups.
  • If the group needs to use a digital or physical device, check that each group has at least one member who can use the device. Otherwise, the group will not be able to complete the task.
Group work agreements
  • Explain to learners the need to create a division of activity in a group: who shares their screen, who takes notes, and where, who fills out a shared document or posts the results, who presents the results, and how. Specific guidelines allow learners to focus on the content.
  • Agree on the role of the teacher during the group work: whether the teacher visits the groups on his / her own initiative or is independent of the group teacher and how it is possible to ask the teacher questions during the group work.
  • In a web environment, group work can take a different amount of time compared to a classroom. Suggest activities for the group if they can finish earlier. Also, plan follow-up if group work is in progress.