Addressing the Weakest Link (3250)

Group work is another student engagement technique that can promote participation.  It offers collaboration, sharing of skills, experiences, and knowledge in addition to effective peer-to-peer instruction.  But, when weak links exist within the group, dynamics become a problem and are often difficult to manage, especially if students don’t have the tools to do so.

I like the idea of empowering groups to manage ‘free-riders’ independently by equipping them with the tools so that they can take ownership and leadership of their group.  The foundation for group work plays a significant role in the success of the learning opportunity.  Group work activity needs to be prefaced by establishing: project goals,  ground rules for participation, consequences for not contributing, timelines, assigned tasks for each member and a method for self/peer assessment.

The following article identifies the impact on group performance when there is a weak link among the team as well as some advice on how groups can manage the situation.


About bevstanwood

I am a student of VCC's Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. I began the program in July 2015 and am currently working on course content that requires posting my assignments, journal entries and resources on a personal blog site.
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