Silicon, Circuits, and the Digital Revolution

Working in Groups

An important element in the success of this problem-based course is the use of student groups and how they function. Use of cooperative working groups in a science class fosters the development of a learning community and lessens the sense of isolation that students may otherwise feel. Research has shown that student achievement is enhanced when students work together in a cooperative learning environment, as opposed to students who try to learn the same material individually. Cooperative learning also increases the motivation to learn, and the interest to solve more complex problems. Social and team skills learned in student groups are important for success in the working world today. If this is your first time working in a learning group, or even if you have had many previous experiences, you will probably have questions or reservations about the process. Here are some examples of questions that you might have about working in groups, along with responses that may address those concerns.

  1. I don't like to do all the work and let others take the credit. How can I prevent this?
  2. I've been in groups before, and I don't like being slowed down by other group members. OR
    I'm not really good in this subject and I'm afraid I'll hold back my group.
    How can I change this?
  3. What can I do to get group members to do their assignments?
  4. How can a group be fair about dividing responsibility in a big project?
  5. I'm trying to get into grad school, so grades are important to me.
    What if I'm in a group with students that don't care about getting good grades?

Credits: In these sections on working in groups, I have borrowed liberally (and mostly verbatim) from the writings and SCEN102 syllabus of Barb Duch (Math/Science Education Resource Center).


SCEN103 Comments, suggestions, or requests to ghw@udel.edu.
"http://www.physics.udel.edu/~watson/scen103/colloq2000/workingingroups.html"
Last updated Feb. 11, 2000.
© Barb Duch, Univ. of Delaware, 2000.