Barriers and Challenges for Group Work
Collaborative group work in an online environment can be an effective way of engaging students in higher-level learning.There are, however, some significant barriers that may make this kind of work difficult. Some of these are:
- Lack of access to high-bandwidth connections or limited data plans,
- Lack of a private space to work in an uninterruptible way,
- Being located in a different time zone (making synchronous activities difficult),
- Challenges in the way students are use learning, and
- Increases in the amount of time it may take students to complete activities.
- Check your expectations for collaborative group work. Perform an inventory of what it might take to accomplish the tasks being assigned.
- Provide several models or pathways students can complete the assignment.
- Consider the manner in which you grade collaborative group work to take into account the challenges some students may have in contributing to activities.
- Communicate with groups regularly to check-in and identify challenges early.
- Be flexible as students identify barriers.