Community-Building & Group Work Assessments (Blended & Online)

General Characteristics

  • Fosters collaboration and a sense of community where peers can support/facilitate learning.
  • Enhances overall engagement and learning through peer-to-peer collaboration.
  • Provides opportunities for learners to explore different roles within group work and accept different viewpoints in order to gain new perspectives and solve problems collectively.  

Examples

 Name  Description
Think-Pair-Share Select a question to reinforce the concepts covered in class/reading. Have students take a minute or two to think about their solution and then have the students share their solutions and questions in pairs or small groups. Give students enough time to work through and discuss the problem together before sharing with the larger group. 
Peer Review/Scoring Have students use a rubric to score other students. This is a versatile assessment that can be applied to writing, presentations, projects, etc. Peer review and scoring is a good way to have students demonstrate their analytical skills.
Writing Buddies Students work in groups to develop and critique arguments. 
Trivia Games Make quiz questions for students to answer individually or in teams.
Class Case Studies Choose a case study to share and ask students to discuss opinions in pairs or groups before sharing with the class as a presentation. Students can also be asked to design a model of a concept depending on the case study chosen. 
Student-led Discussions Have students lead discussions (or parts of discussions) for class individually or in groups. This activity can help hold students accountable for readings and also develop and strengthen leadership qualities. This is often best paired with assigning students to post questions or write reflections that are due at least an hour before the discussion. This ensures they will come to class and have the reading done.
Group to Group Discussions Have students get into groups and have discussions or even debates between groups. 
Reflections on Peer Learning After a peer learning exercise, have students reflect on the learning that took place. Did you gain any insight from your peer? Explain. Did your understanding change? Explain. Were you able to explain ideas to your peers? How did this exercise impact how well you thought you knew the topic? Did you struggle with this exercise in any way? Explain.
Best Awards Assign a student or a group of students to determine the best (argument, question, etc.) of a discussion. These awards can be tied to points.
Team Competitions Have students work in groups (teams) on a project, presentation, debate, student-led discussion, etc. Groups/teams will compete for an award (e.g., extra credit points, treats, etc.)
Posting Discussion Questions Have students formulate and post two discussion questions with respect to a particular topic or assigned reading. Students can also be required to respond to/evaluate at least two questions from another student. Ideally, questions should be posted/due to a forum at least an hour before class. Not only does this help discussion leaders keep discussions going with questions relevant to class interest, it also encourages students to actually read the assigned reading and be prepared to participate in the discussion.
Scavenger Hunt Set up a scavenger hunt for students to complete during the first week (or pre-week) of an online or blended course. Items to have students search for or do include: answer questions about the syllabus, provide an alternative email address, post an introduction to themselves on a "welcome" discussion board; respond to at least two other students introductions; self-assign into groups of three and report group members to the instructor; etc.
Story Mapping Ask students to prepare a visual depiction of a story related to the concepts covered in lecture/assigned reading. Students can work in groups to create the setting, characters, and ending that best relates to real situations.
Role-playing This provides an opportunity for students to simulate applied knowledge. Ask students to act out their role plays or interviews after practicing them with their peers. Recording and uploading the finished product onto the LMS gives students a sense of ownership and can be used as examples in future classes.