Group Work Online

Group Work Online

I use Group Work to build community, and higher-levels of thinking and metacognitive skills with the students. While Group Work can take on a variety of forms, the following examples are the most prevalent. Options include Team-Based Learning, person-to-person collaborations, Reading Graphic Organizer small groups, and Jigsaw can all be re-created for the online environment. Here’s how…

Setting Up Groups in Canvas

Setting up Groups in Canvas begins in “People.” By clicking on “People,” this allows you to create a variety of permanent Group Sets for the duration of your semester. Within each Group Set, you will then have the ability to create small groups. Once you have created your small groups, each small group then has it’s own mini-site where you can create group discussions, announcements, collaborations, conferencing, and where students can upload files to share in the group. It is a powerful tool if your course has a need for group assignments.

Video: Canvas: Creating Groups & Deploying for Group Discussions, with NKC Instructional Technology, April 2020

Group Assignments in Zoom

Donna Marvel’s example

Zoom Basics Handout: Instructions and Etiquette for Students – Created by Jaclyn Hadjipieris, PLNU CEL Adjunct

Reading Graphic Organizer (RGO)

This is a two-part, collaborative assignment using Google Slides in Canvas. The Homework engages the student with the content and prepares them to contribute within their small group. The Concept Map is completed in these small groups (3-4 students). Students are expected to collaborate with their small group in synchronous time, submitting one final product.

  • Reading Graphic Organizer (RGO) Homework and Concept Map – Completed Examples from History 1010 with Gayle Sollfrank, PLNU Adjunct


Think-Pair-Share (TPS) is a synchronous, collaborative learning strategy in which students work together to solve a problem or answer a question. This technique requires students to (1) think individually about a topic or answer to a question; and (2) share ideas with classmates. Discussing an answer with a partner serves to maximize participation, focus attention and engage students in comprehending the reading material. The link above shows ways to creatively use Think-Pair-Share online.