Good practice for getting everyone involved and checking learning

12 Mar

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You set a small group task and watch as one student does it all whilst the others sit back. When challenged the students tell you that they’ve nominated one person to do the writing and they’re verbally contributing when in reality they’re not doing much at all to contribute to team working.

If this sounds familiar then here’s an idea to get all students involved, and it works. It’s a very simple concept but I’ve been using it for a few months and it ensures that everyone actively engages and contributes to the task.

Give each student a different coloured pen/felt tip so you can see their contribution and they can see it too when given a team task that involves writing together on a large sheet of paper. It installs a sense of responsibility to engage with the task and peers actively encourage their team members to contribute. This is particularly effective when creating spider diagrams, planning, team notes and posters. It also makes it very easy for teachers/tutors to visually assess who is doing the work and if the students are contributing evenly. An additional bonus is that the work is visually pleasing and produces some brilliant posters for display.

Image from: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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