You can model project planning and guide students toward better outcomes with some additional structure and scaffolding around multi-week projects. This frequently takes the form of smaller, but more frequent assignments that you can respond to, regular check-ins or progress reports via Zoom, and even group meeting recordings. Identify what support students may need to be successful based on your particular project.
To be successful, group projects in a fully online or hybrid model require more direct support and structure from the instructor. For example, learners may not be aware of scheduling apps to find times for their groups to meet outside of class or even the best collaborative tools for planning, designing, or experimenting in their project.
- Canvas: Create an individual, preparatory assignment (e.g., for an experimental group project the preparatory assignment might be to hypothesize what will occur in a given circumstance; whereas for a writing/communications project the preparatory assignment could be outlining).
- Canvas: Assign a group discussion where group members post their preparatory assignment, work out differences, and finalize a plan/experiment.
- Zoom (students): Have groups hold meeting(s) and record the meetings “to the cloud” (i.e. Kaltura). Suggest that groups use a tool such as Doodle or a shared Google Calendar to make scheduling easier.
- Canvas: Assign a group assignment to submit the URL to the recording(s). You may wish to spot check these or at least keep them in case there are issues with the group dynamics.
- Canvas: Create an individual assignment to submit the final answer/work. Because it’s individual, students have the option to diverge from the conclusions that their group came to.
- Zoom: Debrief the project and provide the “answer(s)” if there is one. Depending on their experience with group projects, consider also discussing strategies that worked well in their group process.