Group of three students work together around a computer. A quote is overlaid: "If the rationale behind assigning a collaborative project is that you want to take advantage of the potential learning benefits associated with cooperative learning, then the assignment is to some extent a means, not an end."

The Problem with Assessing Groups

One of the challenges an instructor faces when developing any collaborative project is how to assess learning. When multiple students work together to create some product, it’s not necessarily the case that the final product reflects the learning of all…

Collaboration and Memory

When Does Collaboration Hurt Memory?

Take six people and give them all a list of words to commit to memory individually. Next, have three of those people work as a group to recall as many words as they can. Have the other three people try…

Do Cohesive Groups Matter?

In previous posts (here and here), I’ve been writing about the different ways that groups can be created for class projects, and whether the method of group assignment has an impact on learning. In this post, I want to focus on one…

Are Group Assignments a Waste of Time?

Are group assignments effective pedagogy or a waste of time? This is the question asked by researcher Michael Thom (2020) in his recent paper examining the scholarship on collaborative pedagogy. To be clear, I’m being literal here. The title of…