Keeping Groups on Track

Once group work has begun, it would be a mistake to let the groups do their work without checking in with them. One way would be to have in-person meetings with each group at various stages of the process. But while these meetings can be useful for discovering how well the production is going, they can often mask internal problems within the group.

In order to get at that information, try having each group member fill out and hand in an Evaluation of Progress form halfway through their work. This information will reveal much of the inner workings of the group and will let the teacher know if she/he needs to step in to help resolve any problems.

Another benefit of using a form like this is that it allows group members’ complaints to be heard without feeling like they are ratting out a teammate. This can be very empowering, and helps to raise their faith that the teacher will intervene if needed.

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This entry was posted in Best Practices, Evaluating Student Work, grading groups, Teaching Practice, Working in Groups and tagged , , by Jane Alden Stevens. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jane Alden Stevens

Jane Alden Stevens is a photographer and educator who is Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati. An active artist, Stevens has exhibited and published her work extensively both in the US and abroad. She is the author of “Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered” (2004). In the course of her teaching career, Stevens taught courses in film, photography, and professional practices for fine artists. Her interest in teaching practices was deepened when she started teaching the "Graduate Teaching Workshop", a required graduate level course for fine artists and art historians that prepares them to teach the courses they will later be assigned. She was also involved in the Preparing Future Faculty program at the University of Cincinnati, which prepares masters and doctoral students across all programs for teaching at the university level. She has conducted pedagogy workshops for a variety of universities, as well as participated in academic practicum panels at educational conferences. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Stevens was honored with the all-university Cohen Award for Excellence in University Teaching at the University of Cincinnati in 2002 and Professor of the Year honors in her college in 2011.

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