Models for group work

Tips for Success Online

The "Draft and Revise" Model

This model is ideal for a class that requires a regular group essay, and consists of at least two rounds. In the first round, designate a group member to draft the essay and post it to a place where everyone in the group can read it, such as the forums in Moodle. Then each group member should post a substantive comment on the draft to help refine it, add ideas, or clarify points. For the second round, the original drafter should revise and repost the draft based on the comments. Then everyone posts again to affirm the final draft or make final suggestions. The final draft should be handed off to the group secretary to be turned in. The drafter should rotate for each assignment.

The "Brainstorm First" Model

This model is great for discussion or essay assignments and consists of at least three rounds. In the first round, every group member posts his or her “brainstorming” thoughts on the topic or prompt. In the second round, each member posts substantive comments on other members’ thoughts. Finally for the third round, a group member is selected to compose and post a summary for the group to approve or suggest revisions. Make sure that this summary fairly includes what the group has indicated as key points. When a final draft is ready, is should be given to the secretary to be submitted for grading. The drafter should rotate for each assignment.

The "Opposing Views" Model

This model is great for discussion or essay assignments, especially if the topic or prompt includes a discussion of opposing views, and includes at least four rounds. In the first round, the group should be divided so that members can post comments from a specific side of the argument. These first posts should each summarize the assigned side of the argument and address some of the opposing points. In the second round, each member comments on a post from the opposing argument. This round of posts should acknowledge well-made points in the opposing view, and also make a counterpoint to the argument. In the third round, each member addresses the counterpoints mentioned in the second round, and also states the member’s concluding position. Finally, in the fourth round, select a group member to draft and post a summary of the discussion with the concluding group consensus on the argument. Each group member should post a comment to affirm or revise the draft. When a final draft is ready, is should be given to the secretary to be submitted for grading. The drafter should rotate for each assignment.