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Addressing Common Issues with Online Group Work

It’s well known that group work benefits the learning process but also that learners can dread the idea of doing group projects. So, as online instructors, what can we do about this situation? Research shows that group projects in online courses are fraught with mixed results for both students and faculty (Brindley et al., 2009; Roberts & McInnerney, 2007; Morgan et al., 2014). We need to provide the best environment for group work to occur because students gain valuable skills from group projects that they wouldn’t gain in an isolated online course (Roberts & McInnerney, 2007). There are a few simple changes that we can make to increase the likelihood of success in group projects. This article looks at five pain points of online group projects and how you as a faculty member can address these with course design and teaching practice.

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