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Strategies for Effective Group Work in eLearning

In the online learning environment, learners need to be given many opportunities to collaborate with their peers.
Research suggests that social interaction with others helps validate his or her understanding of course content by gauging the comprehension of other learners.
Having a sense of connectedness with other learners has been proven to increase effective learning outcomes, especially in eLearning.
Learners should be given numerous forms of interactivity through online discussions, working with partners, and in teams.
In this post you will learn about three aspects that are necessary to providing effective social interactions in an eLearning course. These topics include:
  • Group Projects
  • Small Group Discussions
  • Whole Class Discussions

Group Projects

At the end of a module, group projects are often a great way to get learners interacting. Google provides a vast number of tools to aid in these forms of collaboration. Using Google Docs, learners can asynchronously or synchronously work on group projects together.

Small Groups

It has been found that placing students in small and permanent discussion groups can promote social presence. Smaller group sizes are more likely to promote interpersonal relationships and a sense of community, helping students come together on a common goal

Whole Course Discussions

It is important to know that organizing and managing smaller group sizes can better accomplish a sense of social presence in the online course. However, there are occasions that including a whole class discussion is appropriate.

Putting it All Together

First, you need to keep in mind how to arrange your group members for discussions. Remember that it is best to keep learners in permanent small groups throughout the course. However, there are times that whole class discussions are appropriate.
Learn more on this topic as well as how to assess learners in groups and teams, join the eLearning and Instructional Design for Beginners Community. Start your career in Instructional Design (ID) and eLearning. Build an online course from scratch and finish with mastery.
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