Schedule Group Work

You can assign work for your students to complete in groups. Any student in the group can submit responses for the entire group, and the score for the assignment is the same for all group members.

Group assignments are indicated with a group assignment icon group assignment icon.

Tip You can change the assignment scores for individual students in the group, if necessary. See Adjust or Override Scores.

There are a number of reasons why you might choose to assign group work in your classes:

  • To submit lab reports for group work done in a lab. This might be done in conjunction with individual "pre-lab" or "post-lab" assignments.
  • To foster working together and problem-solving skills.
  • To provoke discussion of the subject matter.

When assigning group work, consider the following recommendations:

  • Groups should ideally have 3 students each. Fewer members risks students being stranded when a group member misses class or does not contribute. With larger groups, there can be unequal participation or no participation from some members of the group.
  • Group members should have designated roles.
    Tip For groups of three students, the following roles are often useful:
    Manager
    The group leader who ensures that the group completes the task.
    Recorder
    The student responsible for developing consensus, recording group decisions, and submitting answers.
    Skeptic
    The student responsible for ensuring that the group considers alternative ideas and does not draw conclusions prematurely.

    A fourth role, energizer/summarizer, can optionally be used for larger groups. This student is responsible for helping to motivate the group and reiterating what has been accomplished.

    You can assign roles to specific students, or let students pick their own roles. However, students should assume each of the roles you define for your class at some point during the class term.

  • Students should work in different groups during the class term. You can choose to create new groups for each assignment, or you can change the class group assignments a couple times during the class term.
  • Group diversity is often an advantage. After some grades have been recorded in your class, you can easily create groups in WebAssign that use either cumulative class grade or scores on a specific assignment to pair stronger and weaker students in groups. You can manually change groups to distribute students based on other criteria not stored in WebAssign, such as age, gender or ethnicity, or to separate couples or cliques.
  1. Schedule the assignment, if you have not already done so.
  2. Open the Schedule page and navigate to the assignment.

    From My Classes, click Class Schedule under Class Tools.

    Tip Click a scheduled assignment in the Assignments list to view the week for which it is scheduled.
  3. Beside the assignment, click Actions button > Edit Restrictions.
  4. On the Edit Restrictions page, select Group Assignment.
  5. Click Group Control Panel to select the student groups you want to use.
  6. If necessary, click Show Group Creation Tool.
  7. Define the student groups you want to use for the assignment.
    To do thisDo this
    Use the student groups defined for the class.
    Note To use this option, you must already have defined student groups for your class from the Roster page. See Create Student Groups for Course.
    1. For Group Type, select Class Groups.
    2. Click go.
    Randomly put students into groups.
    1. For Group Type, select Random.
    2. Type either the preferred number of students per group or the number of groups you want to create.
    3. Select either students per group or groups.
    4. Click go.
    Randomly put students into groups that reflect an even distribution of your students' total scores received so far for the class.
    Note To use this option, you must already have set up your GradeBook.
    1. For Group Type, select Overall Score.
    2. Type either the preferred number of students per group or the number of groups you want to create.
    3. Select either students per group or groups.
    4. Click go.
    Randomly put students into groups that reflect an even distribution of your students' scores for an assignment.
    1. For Group Type, select Assignment Score.
    2. Type either the preferred number of students per group or the number of groups you want to create.
    3. Select either students per group or groups.
    4. Select the Assignment with the scores you want to use as a basis for your groups.
    5. Click go.
    Use the student groups you defined for another assignment.
    1. For Group Type, select Group from Previous Assignment.
    2. Select the previous Assignment with the groups you want to use.
    3. Click go.
    Note
    • You can click go multiple times to see different randomizations of students into groups.
    • When groups are based on distributing scores, each group of n students is comprised of one randomly selected student from each nth of the class based on the score being used. For example, for groups of three students, one student is selected from the top third, one from the middle third, and one from the bottom third. Each student's score is displayed in the list of groups.
    • You can manually adjust groups after selecting one of the randomization methods.
  8. Define or change your student groups manually if needed.
    To do thisDo this
    Create a new group.
    1. Select Create Group.
    2. Type a group name.
    3. Click OK.
    Name or rename a group.
    1. Click rename.
    2. Type a group name.
    3. Click go.
    Remove a student from any group.
    1. Select the check box for the student.
    2. In the Modify Selected list, select Remove.
    Move an ungrouped student to a group.
    1. Select the check box for the student.
    2. In the Modify Selected list, select Move.
    3. In the Student Groups window, click the name of the group.
    Move a student to a different group.
    1. Select the check box for the student.
    2. In the Modify Selected list, select Move.
    3. In the Student Groups window, click the name of the new group.
  9. When you are satisfied with your student groups, click Save Groups and close the Group Control Panel.
  10. Click Save.
Important Inform your students about which groups they are in. Your students will see this information when they view the assignment in WebAssign, but they might want to discuss the assignment with group members before starting to work on it.

You can use your browser's print function to print the Group Control Panel page after you have created the student groups.