Using technology to improve students’ group work skills for presentations

I like the idea of students presenting key ideas and terms to their peers.  In the past, I have found a number of issues:

  • Students do not equally divide up the responsibility for researching and producing the slides
  • The student with the USB stick with the slides on may not attend on the day
  • A student may be off sick during the planning process
  • Some students don’t like working with certain other students
  • The group “leader” takes over
  • No consequences for those students who do not fully participate in the group activity

I have used technology to help overcome these issues.

  1. Tutor allocates students into groups with a certain topic to cover
  2. One student in the group sets up the PowerPoint on OneDrive and uses college email to share the slides with the rest of the group. (Can also copy in tutor to check progress).
  3. Students decide who will complete which aspect of the presentation; slides can be completed while students are physically together or remotely.
  4. Groups log onto One drive and present to the whole class.  Students take notes on a worksheet provided by the tutor.
  5. Ask students for feedback using Google forms on the process and what consequences there should be for those who did not pull their weight.

I have successfully used this approach a number of times and have found that it has:

  • Increased participation in the completing and presenting of the information
  • Increased attendance at the sessions when presentations are given
  • Improved the quality of the slides in terms of spelling and grammar.
  • Suggested group sanctioned consequences for students who did not fulfill their role.





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