Instructional design/Generate PBL Problems/3.1 Group collaboration rules

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Group Collaboration Rules[edit]

How to enhance collaboration[edit]

Collaboration is also a very import problem feature in PBL teaching, as you can remembered from the video that we watched in the “Lesson Introduction” part, a student expressed his feeling, “you have to involve into this process the whole time, you don’t want to let other people in the group down by not doing you parts…” so a problem that instructor generated should also includes collaboration.

However, collaboration is not as simple as instructors assign a problem to a group of students, it requires carefully designed rules for group members to follow. In fact, how to group students and create rules for them to follow are not included in the “generate PBL problem” process, but they are very important in the process of solving problems, so several tips of how to group students as well as ensuring the quality of collaboration will be provided in the following part.

Tips of enhancing collaboration in PBL.

  • Same goal: usually, the problem should be assigned to a group of students who have a similar interest; thus they can work towards the same goal. In each group, group members’ abilities might vary from each other.
  • Ground rules: at the beginning of group working, each group should generate ground rules based on their situation, such as, a weekly group meeting.
  • Shared leadership: groups members should take turns to be the leader so that each student is aware of their group progress; it is also a way to ensure everyone’s opinion is being heard by the whole group.
  • Weekly report: each group should report their weekly progress by the current group leader.
  • Peer assessment: it is important for group member to have peer assessment in the middle of the group working.
  • Individual contributions: each group member should report individual contributions to the group working at the end of the class.


Based on the tips given above, which professor should CHANGE his/her strategy when grouping students?

Professor Brennan asks his students to turn in a reflection paper which indicates individual contribution at the end of this semester.
Professor Stinson assigns each team with a group leader at the beginning of this PBL teaching.
Professor Audrey asks her students to finish a Peer Assessment form in the middle of this class.
Professor Young asks his students to post their weekly progress online.

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