Group work can be a powerful tool for motivating students, encouraging active learning, and developing critical thinking, communication, decision-making, and collaboration skills. However, as the learning method has shifted and many students are learning from home, group work cannot be as optimal as in the offline setup. That is why Rolljak rolled out the most requested feature: Team Mode.
Read on to find out:
- Benefits of group work for students
- The challenges of group work on the virtual learning environment
- What is Rolljak's Team Mode and its difference to other platforms
- How to enable Team Mode
- Use cases for Team Mode
Benefits of group work for students
Numerous research studies have shown the benefits of incorporating teamwork and collaborative learning in classrooms. You can also share these advantages with your students in an open and transparent manner to help them realize how group work can boost learning and prepare them for real-life situations!
- Individual achievement is higher for students who work in groups or participate in cooperative learning than for those who work alone.
Students learning in a collaborative situation had greater knowledge acquisition, retention of material, and higher-order problem solving and reasoning abilities than students working alone (Johnson et al. 2014). It's because students' interactions and conversations in a team allow them to build new information, arrange it inside a conceptual framework of current knowledge, and then improve and assess what they know and don't know.
- Communication and other professional development skills are improved through student group work.
80% of professionals work in group settings. Therefore, the ability to work effectively within diverse groups in the 2020s is of utmost importance. By creating opportunities for group work in your class, you can provide an avenue for students to improve their collaboration skills with others. Through group work, students can engage in process skills such as processing information, analyzing and solving problems, management skills such as using roles within groups, and evaluation skills such as evaluating possibilities to make decisions regarding their group's final response through group work. All of these abilities are necessary for effective teamwork in the classroom and in the workplace.
The challenges of group work on the virtual learning environment
Group work is very beneficial, yet it can be a disaster! In a physical classroom, group work already has its own challenges, not only for students but also for teachers. Common challenges for group work are coordination costs, motivation costs, allocating time, teaching process skills, assessing process as well as product, and assessing individual as well as group learning.
Many agree that it is even harder in a remote learning environment, making group projects a nightmare in this era. Students struggle with reaching out to group members. They might be too far apart to meet in person, or too busy to schedule remote meetings.
Should you avoid group projects entirely? No. Absolutely not! Despite these challenges, it's still possible to introduce bite-sized group work using Rolljak's Team Mode feature. Enable students to work on group projects during class time and create a space and opportunity for students to do meaningful group work.
What is Rolljak's Team Mode and its difference to other platforms
Team Mode feature on Rolljak split your students into smaller groups so that you can get them working in teams. Team Mode works the same way Breakout Rooms works on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Once students join your session, they will be asked to join a team, which you can also re-assign in real-time according to your own preferences.
Team Mode encourages teamwork and communication skills, and it gives a greater learning experience as Rolljak incorporates Collaboration and Peer Evaluation features. Unlike any other platform, with Rolljak you're not only giving your students a space to work as a team, but also supporting them with the tools they need: exchange ideas with teammates and giving each student a chance to contribute while having positive discussions to choose the best ideas! With Team Mode enabled, collaboration and peer evaluation are done within teams and your session will be a supportive space where everyone in the team feels that their contributions are appreciated. This is exactly what 21st Century learning is all about!
How to enable Team Mode
Team Mode is accessible right after Activity Builder section. After you finish creating a session, click NEXT, and you will find the option to enable Teams!
When you enable Team Mode, you will have 2 teams by default, but you can customize the number and name of teams too.
When you GO LIVE with your session, students will be asked to join a team. As a teacher, you can assign students who have not chosen a team (see the waiting room), and rearrange the team members based on your preferences in real-time. Simply click ⋮ on their name, choose the team you wish to assign them to, and click GO.
Or even kick the participants from the session by clicking KICK!
Now you can click START and let the magic unfold in your classrooms. Remember, Collaboration and Evaluation are done within the team.
When the activity ends, you will see the best ideas from each team on the winners' page. If you want to see all students' responses, you can see it on View Gallery.
In this phase, you can have a discussion with the teams about the ideas, give them recognition as well as ideas on how to improve.
Use Cases for Team Mode
Design and Technology
"Choose an object and create a mash-up with a/an
Split your students into smaller groups to create something new with one of Rolljak Activity Preset: The RemixerClick BROWSE ACTIVITY LIBRARY, and choose The Remixer. You can select the prompt or let Rolljak randomize it.
Then, students choose 1 out of 3 randomised objects provided during the activity and draw their response in a Respond phase. With Team Mode enabled, students will swap answers with their teammates and add onto each other's responses.
On the Evaluation phase, The Remixer activity selects "Invest" by default. But don't worry, you can change the evaluation option too! With "Invest", students will use money to invest in each other’s responses. The better the response, the more money they’ll get, meaning that the teams agree that it's the best result which they can present in the class.
Settings you can enable: Single Response, Multiple Response, Collaboration, Peer Evaluation "Invest", Team Mode
"Create a haiku with your team"
Use Open Ended activity to ask students create a haiku poem together with their teammates! One student creates 1 line to the response, and during the Collaboration phase, they should add 1 more line to the response and create a haiku.
Settings you can enable: Single Response, Multiple Response, Collaboration, Team Mode
"Sketch the key scenes in the reading"
You can use Storyboarding activity that you can find on Rolljak Activity Library. Click BROWSE ACTIVITY, and choose Storyboarding under Innovation and Design Thinking
Get your students to sketch a journey or a process flow across 4 sketches and collaborate with their teammates.
Settings you can enable: Collaboration, Peer Evaluation "Invest", Team Mode
No matter what the setup is - be it a virtual or physical classroom, group work is still vital to students’ immediate learning and long-term success, especially since collaboration and group work are pivotal in the workforce of the future. With collaboration and group work, students beyond getting answers correct and learn to leapfrog ideas to solve real-life problems with impactful solutions.
As we move deeper into the 21st Century, innovative thinking and creativity are amongst the top skills required in the future of the workforce. There are no right or wrong answers as we go beyond the realm of human knowledge and investigate a variety of possible approaches to concepts, issues, problems, and ideas.
Start unlocking greater learning experiences and achieving better learning outcomes with Rolljak Team Mode feature!