• Utility Menu

University Logo

GA4 Tracking Code



  • Make a Gift
  • Join Our Email List

Many students have had little experience working in groups in an academic setting. While there are many excellent books and articles describing group processes, this guide is intended to be short and simply written for students who are working in groups, but who may not be very interested in too much detail. It also provides teachers (and students) with tips on assigning group projects, ways to organize groups, and what to do when the process goes awry.

Some reasons to ask students to work in groups

Asking students to work in small groups allows students to learn interactively. Small groups are good for:

  • generating a broad array of possible alternative points of view or solutions to a problem
  • giving students a chance to work on a project that is too large or complex for an individual
  • allowing students with different backgrounds to bring their special knowledge, experience, or skills to a project, and to explain their orientation to others
  • giving students a chance to teach each other
  • giving students a structured experience so they can practice skills applicable to professional situations

Some benefits of working in groups (even for short periods of time in class)

  • Students who have difficulty talking in class may speak in a small group.
  • More students, overall, have a chance to participate in class.
  • Talking in groups can help overcome the anonymity and passivity of a large class or a class meeting in a poorly designed room.
  • Students who expect to participate actively prepare better for class.

Caveat: If you ask students to work in groups, be clear about your purpose, and communicate it to them. Students who fear that group work is a potential waste of valuable time may benefit from considering the reasons and benefits above.

Large projects over a period of time

Faculty asking students to work in groups over a long period of time can do a few things to make it easy for the students to work:

  • The biggest student complaint about group work is that it takes a lot of time and planning. Let students know about the project at the beginning of the term, so they can plan their time.
  • At the outset, provide group guidelines and your expectations.
  • Monitor the groups periodically to make sure they are functioning effectively.
  • If the project is to be completed outside of class, it can be difficult to find common times to meet and to find a room. Some faculty members provide in-class time for groups to meet. Others help students find rooms to meet in.

Forming the group

  • Forming the group. Should students form their own groups or should they be assigned? Most people prefer to choose whom they work with. However, many students say they welcome both kinds of group experiences, appreciating the value of hearing the perspective of another discipline, or another background.
  • Size. Appropriate group size depends on the nature of the project.  If the group is small and one person drops out, can the remaining people do the work? If the group is large, will more time be spent on organizing themselves and trying to make decisions than on productive work?
  • Resources for students. Provide a complete class list, with current email addresses. (Students like having this anyway so they can work together even if group projects are not assigned.)
  • Students that don't fit. You might anticipate your response to the one or two exceptions of a person who really has difficulty in the group. After trying various remedies, is there an out—can this person join another group? work on an independent project?

Organizing the work

Unless part of the goal is to give people experience in the process of goal-setting, assigning tasks, and so forth, the group will be able to work more efficiently if they are provided with some of the following:

  • Clear goals. Why are they working together? What are they expected to accomplish?
  • Ways to break down the task into smaller units
  • Ways to allocate responsibility for different aspects of the work
  • Ways to allocate organizational responsibility
  • A sample time line with suggested check points for stages of work to be completed

Caveat: Setting up effective small group assignments can take a lot of faculty time and organization.

Getting Started

  • Groups work best if people know each others' names and a bit of their background and experience, especially those parts that are related to the task at hand. Take time to introduce yourselves.
  • Be sure to include everyone when considering ideas about how to proceed as a group. Some may never have participated in a small group in an academic setting. Others may have ideas about what works well. Allow time for people to express their inexperience and hesitations as well as their experience with group projects.
  • Most groups select a leader early on, especially if the work is a long-term project. Other options for leadership in long-term projects include taking turns for different works or different phases of the work.
  • Everyone needs to discuss and clarify the goals of the group's work. Go around the group and hear everyone's ideas (before discussing them) or encourage divergent thinking by brainstorming. If you miss this step, trouble may develop part way through the project. Even though time is scarce and you may have a big project ahead of you, groups may take some time to settle in to work. If you anticipate this, you may not be too impatient with the time it takes to get started.

Organizing the Work

  • Break up big jobs into smaller pieces. Allocate responsibility for different parts of the group project to different individuals or teams. Do not forget to account for assembling pieces into final form.
  • Develop a timeline, including who will do what, in what format, by when. Include time at the end for assembling pieces into final form. (This may take longer than you anticipate.) At the end of each meeting, individuals should review what work they expect to complete by the following session.

Understanding and Managing Group Processes

  • Groups work best if everyone has a chance to make strong contributions to the discussion at meetings and to the work of the group project.
  • At the beginning of each meeting, decide what you expect to have accomplished by the end of the meeting.
  • Someone (probably not the leader) should write all ideas, as they are suggested, on the board, a collaborative document, or on large sheets of paper. Designate a recorder of the group's decisions. Allocate responsibility for group process (especially if you do not have a fixed leader) such as a time manager for meetings and someone who periodically says that it is time to see how things are going (see below).
  • What leadership structure does the group want? One designated leader? rotating leaders? separately assigned roles?
  • Are any more ground rules needed, such as starting meetings on time, kinds of interruptions allowed, and so forth?
  • Is everyone contributing to discussions? Can discussions be managed differently so all can participate? Are people listening to each other and allowing for different kinds of contributions?
  • Are all members accomplishing the work expected of them? Is there anything group members can do to help those experiencing difficulty?
  • Are there disagreements or difficulties within the group that need to be addressed? (Is someone dominating? Is someone left out?)
  • Is outside help needed to solve any problems?
  • Is everyone enjoying the work?

Including Everyone and Their Ideas

Groups work best if everyone is included and everyone has a chance to contribute ideas. The group's task may seem overwhelming to some people, and they may have no idea how to go about accomplishing it. To others, the direction the project should take may seem obvious. The job of the group is to break down the work into chunks, and to allow everyone to contribute. The direction that seems obvious to some may turn out not to be so obvious after all. In any event, it will surely be improved as a result of some creative modification.

Encouraging Ideas

The goal is to produce as many ideas as possible in a short time without evaluating them. All ideas are carefully listened to but not commented on and are usually written on the board or large sheets of paper so everyone can see them, and so they don't get forgotten or lost. Take turns by going around the group—hear from everyone, one by one.

One specific method is to generate ideas through brainstorming. People mention ideas in any order (without others' commenting, disagreeing or asking too many questions). The advantage of brainstorming is that ideas do not become closely associated with the individuals who suggested them. This process encourages creative thinking, if it is not rushed and if all ideas are written down (and therefore, for the time-being, accepted). A disadvantage: when ideas are suggested quickly, it is more difficult for shy participants or for those who are not speaking their native language. One approach is to begin by brainstorming and then go around the group in a more structured way asking each person to add to the list.

Examples of what to say:

  • Why don't we take a minute or two for each of us to present our views?
  • Let's get all our ideas out before evaluating them. We'll clarify them before we organize or evaluate them.
  • We'll discuss all these ideas after we hear what everyone thinks.
  • You don't have to agree with her, but let her finish.
  • Let's spend a few more minutes to see if there are any possibilities we haven't thought of, no matter how unlikely they seem.

Group Leadership

  • The leader is responsible for seeing that the work is organized so that it will get done. The leader is also responsible for understanding and managing group interactions so that the atmosphere is positive.
  • The leader must encourage everyone's contributions with an eye to accomplishing the work. To do this, the leader must observe how the group's process is working. (Is the group moving too quickly, leaving some people behind? Is it time to shift the focus to another aspect of the task?)
  • The leader must encourage group interactions and maintain a positive atmosphere. To do this the leader must observe the way people are participating as well as be aware of feelings communicated non-verbally. (Are individuals' contributions listened to and appreciated by others? Are people arguing with other people, rather than disagreeing with their ideas? Are some people withdrawn or annoyed?)
  • The leader must anticipate what information, materials or other resources the group needs as it works.
  • The leader is responsible for beginning and ending on time. The leader must also organize practical support, such as the room, chalk, markers, food, breaks.

(Note: In addition to all this, the leader must take part in thc discussion and participate otherwise as a group member. At these times, the leader must be careful to step aside from the role of leader and signal participation as an equal, not a dominant voice.)

Concerns of Individuals That May Affect Their Participation

  • How do I fit in? Will others listen to me? Am I the only one who doesn't know everyone else? How can I work with people with such different backgrounds and expericnce?
  • Who will make the decisions? How much influence can I have?
  • What do I have to offer to the group? Does everyone know more than I do? Does anyone know anything, or will I have to do most of the work myself?

Characteristics of a Group that is Performing Effectively

  • All members have a chance to express themselves and to influence the group's decisions. All contributions are listened to carefully, and strong points acknowledged. Everyone realizes that the job could not be done without the cooperation and contribution of everyone else.
  • Differences are dealt with directly with the person or people involved. The group identifies all disagreements, hears everyone's views and tries to come to an agreement that makes sense to everyone. Even when a group decision is not liked by someone, that person will follow through on it with the group.
  • The group encourages everyone to take responsibility, and hard work is recognized. When things are not going well, everyone makes an effort to help each other. There is a shared sense of pride and accomplishment.

Focusing on a Direction

After a large number of ideas have been generated and listed (e.g. on the board), the group can categorize and examine them. Then the group should agree on a process for choosing from among the ideas. Advantages and disadvantages of different plans can be listed and then voted on. Some possibilities can be eliminated through a straw vote (each group member could have 2 or 3 votes). Or all group members could vote for their first, second, and third choices. Alternatively, criteria for a successful plan can be listed, and different alternatives can be voted on based on the criteria, one by one.

Categorizing and evaluating ideas

  • We have about 20 ideas here. Can we sort them into a few general categories?
  • When we evaluate each others' ideas, can we mention some positive aspects before expressing concerns?
  • Could you give us an example of what you mean?
  • Who has dealt with this kind of problem before?
  • What are the pluses of that approach? The minuses?
  • We have two basic choices. Let's brainstorm. First let's look at the advantages of the first choice, then the disadvantages.
  • Let's try ranking these ideas in priority order. The group should try to come to an agreement that makes sense to everyone.

Making a decision

After everyone's views are heard and all points of agreement and disagreement are identified, the group should try to arrive at an agreement that makes sense to everyone.

  • There seems to be some agreement here. Is there anyone who couldn't live with solution #2?
  • Are there any objections to going that way?
  • You still seem to have worries about this solution. Is there anything that could be added or taken away to make it more acceptable? We're doing fine. We've agreed on a great deal. Let's stay with this and see if we can work this last issue through.
  • It looks as if there are still some major points of disagreement. Can we go back and define what those issues are and work on them rather than forcing a decision now.

How People Function in Groups

If a group is functioning well, work is getting done and constructive group processes are creating a positive atmosphere. In good groups the individuals may contribute differently at different times. They cooperate and human relationships are respected. This may happen automatically or individuals, at different times, can make it their job to maintain the atmospbere and human aspects of the group.

Roles That Contribute to the Work

Initiating —taking the initiative, at any time; for example, convening the group, suggesting procedures, changing direction, providing new energy and ideas. (How about if we.... What would happen if... ?)

Seeking information or opinions —requesting facts, preferences, suggestions and ideas. (Could you say a little more about... Would you say this is a more workable idea than that?)

Giving information or opinions —providing facts, data, information from research or experience. (ln my experience I have seen... May I tell you what I found out about...? )

Questioning —stepping back from what is happening and challenging the group or asking other specific questions about the task. (Are we assuming that... ? Would the consequence of this be... ?)

Clarifying —interpreting ideas or suggestions, clearing up confusions, defining terms or asking others to clarify. This role can relate different contributions from different people, and link up ideas that seem unconnected. (lt seems that you are saying... Doesn't this relate to what [name] was saying earlier?)

Summarizing —putting contributions into a pattern, while adding no new information. This role is important if a group gets stuck. Some groups officially appoint a summarizer for this potentially powerful and influential role. (If we take all these pieces and put them together... Here's what I think we have agreed upon so far... Here are our areas of disagreement...)

Roles That Contribute to the Atmosphere

Supporting —remembering others' remarks, being encouraging and responsive to others. Creating a warm, encouraging atmosphere, and making people feel they belong helps the group handle stresses and strains. People can gesture, smile, and make eye-contact without saying a word. Some silence can be supportive for people who are not native speakers of English by allowing them a chance to get into discussion. (I understand what you are getting at...As [name] was just saying...)

Observing —noticing the dynamics of the group and commenting. Asking if others agree or if they see things differently can be an effective way to identify problems as they arise. (We seem to be stuck... Maybe we are done for now, we are all worn out... As I see it, what happened just a minute ago.. Do you agree?)

Mediating —recognizing disagreements and figuring out what is behind the differences. When people focus on real differences, that may lead to striking a balance or devising ways to accommodate different values, views, and approaches. (I think the two of you are coming at this from completely different points of view... Wait a minute. This is how [name/ sees the problem. Can you see why she may see it differently?)

Reconciling —reconciling disagreements. Emphasizing shared views among members can reduce tension. (The goal of these two strategies is the same, only the means are different… Is there anything that these positions have in common?)

Compromising —yielding a position or modifying opinions. This can help move the group forward. (Everyone else seems to agree on this, so I'll go along with... I think if I give in on this, we could reach a decision.)

Making a personal comment —occasional personal comments, especially as they relate to the work. Statements about one's life are often discouraged in professional settings; this may be a mistake since personal comments can strengthen a group by making people feel human with a lot in common.

Humor —funny remarks or good-natured comments. Humor, if it is genuinely good-natured and not cutting, can be very effective in relieving tension or dealing with participants who dominate or put down others. Humor can be used constructively to make the work more acceptable by providing a welcome break from concentration. It may also bring people closer together, and make the work more fun.

All the positive roles turn the group into an energetic, productive enterprise. People who have not reflected on these roles may misunderstand the motives and actions of people working in a group. If someone other than the leader initiates ideas, some may view it as an attempt to take power from the leader. Asking questions may similarly be seen as defying authority or slowing down the work of the group. Personal anecdotes may be thought of as trivializing the discussion. Leaders who understand the importance of these many roles can allow and encourage them as positive contributions to group dynamics. Roles that contribute to the work give the group a sense of direction and achievement. Roles contributing to the human atmosphere give the group a sense of cooperation and goodwill.

Some Common Problems (and Some Solutions)

Floundering —While people are still figuring out the work and their role in the group, the group may experience false starts and circular discussions, and decisions may be postponed.

  • Here's my understanding of what we are trying to accomplish... Do we all agree?
  • What would help us move forward: data? resources?
  • Let's take a few minutes to hear everyone's suggestions about how this process might work better and what we should do next.

Dominating or reluctant participants —Some people might take more than their share of the discussion by talking too often, asserting superiority, telling lengthy stories, or not letting others finish. Sometimes humor can be used to discourage people from dominating. Others may rarely speak because they have difficulty getting in the conversation. Sometimes looking at people who don't speak can be a non-verbal way to include them. Asking quiet participants for their thoughts outside the group may lead to their participation within the group.

  • How would we state the general problem? Could we leave out the details for a moment? Could we structure this part of the discussion by taking turns and hearing what everyone has to say?
  • Let's check in with each other about how the process is working: Is everyone contributing to discussions? Can discussions be managed differently so we can all participate? Are we all listening to each other?

Digressions and tangents —Too many interesting side stories can be obstacles to group progress. It may be time to take another look at the agenda and assign time estimates to items. Try to summarize where the discussion was before the digression. Or, consider whether there is something making the topic easy to avoid.

  • Can we go back to where we were a few minutes ago and see what we were trying to do ?
  • Is there something about the topic itself that makes it difficult to stick to?

Getting Stuck —Too little progress can get a group down. It may be time for a short break or a change in focus. However, occasionally when a group feels that it is not making progress, a solution emerges if people simply stay with the issue.

  • What are the things that are helping us solve this problem? What's preventing us from solving this problem?
  • I understand that some of you doubt whether anything new will happen if we work on this problem. Are we willing to give it a try for the next fifteen minutes?

Rush to work —Usually one person in the group is less patient and more action-oriented than the others. This person may reach a decision more quickly than the others and then pressure the group to move on before others are ready.

  • Are we all ready-to make a decision on this?
  • What needs to be done before we can move ahead?
  • Let's go around and see where everyone stands on this.

Feuds —Occasionally a conflict (having nothing to do with the subject of the group) carries over into the group and impedes its work. It may be that feuding parties will not be able to focus until the viewpoint of each is heard. Then they must be encouraged to lay the issue aside.

  • So, what you are saying is... And what you are saying is... How is that related to the work here?
  • If we continue too long on this, we won't be able to get our work done. Can we agree on a time limit and then go on?

For more information...

James Lang, " Why Students Hate Group Projects (and How to Change That) ," The Chronicle of Higher Education (17 June 2022).

Hodges, Linda C. " Contemporary Issues in Group Learning in Undergraduate Science Classrooms: A Perspective from Student Engagement ,"  CBE—Life Sciences Education  17.2 (2018): es3.

  • Designing Your Course
  • A Teaching Timeline: From Pre-Term Planning to the Final Exam
  • The First Day of Class
  • Group Agreements
  • Classroom Debate
  • Flipped Classrooms
  • Leading Discussions
  • Polling & Clickers
  • Problem Solving in STEM
  • Teaching with Cases
  • Engaged Scholarship
  • Devices in the Classroom
  • Beyond the Classroom
  • On Professionalism
  • Getting Feedback
  • Equitable & Inclusive Teaching
  • Advising and Mentoring
  • Teaching and Your Career
  • Teaching Remotely
  • Tools and Platforms
  • The Science of Learning
  • Bok Publications
  • Other Resources Around Campus

Duke Learning Innovation and Lifetime Education

Ideas for Great Group Work

Many students, particularly if they are new to college, don’t like group assignments and projects. They might say they “work better by themselves” and be wary of irresponsible members of their group dragging down their grade. Or they may feel group projects take too much time and slow down the progression of the class. This blog post by a student— 5 Reasons I Hate Group Projects —might sound familiar to many faculty assigning in-class group work and longer-term projects in their courses.

We all recognize that learning how to work effectively in groups is an essential skill that will be used by students in practically every career in the private sector or academia. But, with the hesitancy of students towards group work and how it might impact their grade, how do we make group in-class work, assignments, or long-term projects beneficial and even exciting to students?

The methods and ideas in this post have been compiled from Duke faculty who we have consulted with as part of our work in Learning Innovation or have participated in one of our programs. Also included are ideas from colleagues at other universities with whom we have talked at conferences and other venues about group work practices in their own classrooms.

Have clear goals and purpose

Students want to know why they are being assigned certain kinds of work – how it fits into the larger goals of the class and the overall assessment of their performance in the course. Make sure you explain your goals for assigning in-class group work or projects in the course. You may wish to share:

  • Information on the importance of developing skills in group work and how this benefits the students in the topics presented in the course.
  • Examples of how this type of group work will be used in the discipline outside of the classroom.
  • How the assignment or project benefits from multiple perspectives or dividing the work among more than one person.

Some faculty give students the option to come to a consensus on the specifics of how group work will count in the course, within certain parameters. This can help students feel they have some control over their own learning process and and can put less emphasis on grades and more on the importance of learning the skills of working in groups.

Choose the right assignment

Some in-class activities, short assignments or projects are not suitable for working in groups. To ensure student success, choose the right class activity or assignment for groups.

  • Would the workload of the project or activity require more than one person to finish it properly?
  • Is this something where multiple perspectives create a greater whole?
  • Does this draw on knowledge and skills that are spread out among the students?
  • Will the group process used in the activity or project give students a tangible benefit to learning in and engagement with the course?

Help students learn the skills of working in groups

Students in your course may have never been asked to work in groups before. If they have worked in groups in previous courses, they may have had bad experiences that color their reaction to group work in your course. They may have never had the resources and support to make group assignments and projects a compelling experience.

One of the most important things you can do as an instructor is to consider all of the skills that go into working in groups and to design your activities and assignments with an eye towards developing those skills.

In a group assignment, students may be asked to break down a project into steps, plan strategy, organize their time, and coordinate efforts in the context of a group of people they may have never met before.

Consider these ideas to help your students learn group work skills in your course.

  • Give a short survey to your class about their previous work in groups to gauge areas where they might need help: ask about what they liked best and least about group work, dynamics of groups they have worked in, time management, communication skills or other areas important in the assignment you are designing.
  • Allow time in class for students in groups to get to know each other. This can be a simple as brief introductions, an in-class active learning activity or the drafting of a team charter.
  • Based on the activity you are designing and the skills that would be involved in working as a group, assemble some links to web resources that students can draw on for more information, such as sites that explain how to delegate and share responsibilities, conflict resolution, or planning a project and time management. You can also address these issues in class with the students.
  • Have a plan for clarifying questions or possible problems that may emerge with an assignment or project.   Are there ways you can ask questions or get draft material to spot areas where students are having difficulty understanding the assignment or having difficulty with group dynamics that might impact the work later?

Designing the assignment or project

The actual design of the class activity or project can help the students transition into group work processes and gain confidence with the skills involved in group dynamics.   When designing your assignment, consider these ideas.

  • Break the assignment down into steps or stages to help students become familiar with the process of planning the project as a group.
  • Suggest roles for participants in each group to encourage building expertise and expertise and to illustrate ways to divide responsibility for the work.
  • Use interim drafts for longer projects to help students manage their time and goals and spot early problems with group projects.
  • Limit their resources (such as giving them material to work with or certain subsets of information) to encourage more close cooperation.
  • Encourage diversity in groups to spread experience and skill levels and to get students to work with colleagues in the course who they may not know.

Promote individual responsibility

Students always worry about how the performance of other students in a group project might impact their grade. A way to allay those fears is to build individual responsibility into both the course grade and the logistics of group work.

  • Build “slack days” into the course. Allow a prearranged number of days when individuals can step away from group work to focus on other classes or campus events. Individual students claim “slack days” in advance, informing both the members of their group and the instructor. Encourage students to work out how the group members will deal with conflicting dates if more than one student in a group wants to claim the same dates.
  • Combine a group grade with an individual grade for independent write-ups, journal entries, and reflections.
  • Have students assess their fellow group members. Teammates is an online application that can automate this process.
  • If you are having students assume roles in group class activities and projects, have them change roles in different parts of the class or project so that one student isn’t “stuck” doing one task for the group.

Gather feedback

To improve your group class activities and assignments, gather reflective feedback from students on what is and isn’t working. You can also share good feedback with future classes to help them understand the value of the activities they’re working on in groups.

  • For in-class activities, have students jot down thoughts at the end of class on a notecard for you to review.
  • At the end of a larger project, or at key points when you have them submit drafts, ask the students for an “assignment wrapper”—a short reflection on the assignment or short answers to a series of questions.

Further resources

Information for faculty

Best practices for designing group projects (Eberly Center, Carnegie Mellon)

Building Teamwork Process Skills in Students (Shannon Ciston, UC Berkeley)

Working with Student Teams   (Bart Pursel, Penn State)

Barkley, E.F., Cross, K.P., and Major, C.H. (2005). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R., & Smith, K. (1998). Active learning: Cooperation in the college classroom. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

Thompson, L.L. (2004). Making the team: A guide for managers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

Information for students

10 tips for working effectively in groups (Vancouver Island University Learning Matters)

Teamwork skills: being an effective group member (University of Waterloo Centre for Teaching Excellence)

5 ways to survive a group project in college (HBCU Lifestyle)

Group project tips for online courses (Drexel Online)

Group Writing (Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill)


LX / Design a group assignment

Design a group assignment

This resource offers suggestions for designing group assignments which students will finding motivating. We’ll explore how to make the assignment meaningful, easily allocated into sub-tasks, relevant to learning outcomes and achievable.

One of the most crucial aspects of group work is the task set for the group. If students engage in their task, they will be more likely to be motivated to be an active participant in group work and develop new skills. Unfortunately, many students find their tasks to be inappropriate or too difficult for group work and thus lack motivation to work collectively on the assignment. In fact, many students view their assignments as little more than an individual assessment task applied to a group of students to reduce marking.

Develop a motivating group assignment

To develop a motivating group assignment, first you need to understand what students look for in a collaborative assessment task. Understanding students’ expectations is important because it allows you to see where your task can be aligned with their expectations. It also allows you to identify where alignment may not be possible. These differences can then be discussed with the students so they understand your reasons. Students will always work better when they understand why they are being assessed in a particular way.

There are four important factors which students look for in a group assignment.

1. A meaningful assignment

Students are not only motivated by the mark they will receive for their assignment. They are also motivated by the work they will produce.

Students often report that their most motivating group assignments are those which are “client-based”. These are assignments where the groups enact the role of consultant and work on an issue which has been identified by the client (in most instances, an organisation). Groups usually produce some form of written report (or in some disciplines a product) which is assessed by the lecturer. Occasionally, the client is also invited to assess the group’s output. Students are particularly motivated when they know that the client will be viewing and assessing the work.

Designing “client-based” group assignments are becoming increasingly popular in university settings. Many organisations are interested in participating in such projects because of the insights and perspectives generated by the project groups. Non-profit organisations, with their limited resources, are often keen to become clients and students are particularly motivated to help such organisations.

Some lecturers are even beginning to view the university as a client and are designing group assignments which address particular concerns faced by students and staff.

2. Easily allocated into sub-tasks

Student groups almost always divide up their task and allocate different sections to each member. Even if you do not want the assignment to be broken up, they probably will (or at least attempt to do so).

Students argue that this is the only strategy to use when they are members of 3 or 4 other groups. Unfortunately, most groups struggle when they attempt to divide up the task because it has not been designed to be broken up. It has been designed to be completed collectively. The rationale behind this strategy is that students learn group skills by closely working together on every aspect of the task.

While this strategy can be effective, it usually takes much longer than one semester for it to work. Furthermore, it usually requires that members work together full-time on the one task. With students working part-time, on more than one task, in more than one group, it is in many ways an unrealistic strategy. There is just not enough time for students to work together on every issue.

Knowing that students divide up their group task, many lecturers are beginning to devise group assignments with this in mind. In these assignments, each group member is required to do a piece of work. These individual pieces are then combined together to form a completed group product (there is usually an introduction and conclusion which the group write together to bring the individual sections together).

Students are motivated by these types of assignments because:

  • they are less dependent on each other
  • they don’t have to make joint decisions on each and every issue,
  • there are fewer disagreements
  • they have the opportunity to ‘shine’ as well as contribute to the group

Lecturers also benefit greatly from the task design due to:

  • fewer complaints about free-riding (because each member’s work is identifiable)
  • greater enthusiasm for group work
  • less conflict in groups
  • greater peer support

As with any innovation, there are of course critics to the approach. The main criticism is that students are not working in ‘fully fledged’ groups and, as such, fail to develop a broad range of skills. While this may be true, proponents argue that it is far better to learn some skills well than many at only a shallow level. This approach works on the rationale that students should not be expected to learn too many skills in a semester, but rather focus on a number of key skills (eg. coordination, peer support, accountability).

Proponents also argue that the notion of the fully fledged group rarely exists in industry and that their approach more accurately mirrors the “real world”. In many organisations, team members often work independently on individual pieces and bring them together to form the product (or the collection of group products). The aim of their approach is to reflect this style of team work and to teach students how to operate under such a system.

It is understandable that many group assignments must be collaborative and result in a single product. For these assignments, it is important to remember that students will try to split the task up. If the task can be logically divided, it may be advisable to help them do so – this will save the group valuable time. If the task cannot be broken apart, this should be clearly explained to students before they try to do so.

3. Relevant to learning outcomes

As mentioned earlier, many students are sceptical about collaborative assessment tasks and often view them merely as a way of reducing marking. For students to be motivated to participate in group assignments, they often need to see the tangible benefits of doing so. This is best achieved by designing group assignments which are closely aligned to the learning objectives of the subject.

When designing collaborative assignments, it is important to consider what knowledge, skills and abilities you want your students to learn through group work. While there will be a generic set applicable to most group assignments (eg. learning to communicate and cooperate with peers), there will also be a specific set which need to be geared to the assignment. For example, what type of interpersonal communication skills do you want your students to learn? Do you want them to learn to communicate face-to-face or also to learn computer mediated communication? If the latter is important, then establishing an “on-line” group task (eg. an on-line debate or discussion group) would be appropriate.

All too often, lectures design group assignments with little reference to the learning objectives and this can create confusion for students. For example, students often fail to see how requirements such as communicating “on-line” or making a group presentation are relevant to their learning outcomes. Whilst the objective may be clear to the lecturer, students often have little idea. It is therefore important that the objectives of the group assignment are  explicitly  made known to students. This is best achieved through a well structured subject outline that breaks down the group assignment into its sub-components and links each component to a key learning objective.

4. An achievable assignment

When designing an appropriate group assignment, it is also important to set a task which can realistically be achieved by students within the specified time frame. Whilst the task may be meaningful and challenging, it can become too time consuming and overwhelming for students. This is particularly the case when students are doing equally challenging group assignments in their other subjects. Students often complain that many of their difficulties arise from the multiple group assignments they are forced to do each semester and how many lecturers are either insensitive or oblivious to this fact. T

he unfortunate result is that students become disillusioned with their group assignments and tend to apply themselves less. This usually results in a decrease in learning, motivation and output quality and an increase in group related problems such as conflict and the withdrawal of effort. To help design a realistically achievable task, it may therefore be worth ‘standing back’ and viewing the group assignment from the student’s perspective.

Things to consider

  • Invite the client to a class or classes throughout the semester
  • Restrict students from contacting the clients whenever they choose
  • Provide samples of work completed by groups in previous years.
  • Discuss how groups, particularly those who have done well in previous years, have gone about completing their assignment
  • If you are having difficulties finding a real client, design your group assignment around a mock client (eg. a hypothetical client or a client from a previous year)

Still need help?

Get in touch with the LX.lab team by logging a ticket via ServiceConnect. We'll be in touch shortly.

Want to provide feedback on this resource? Please log in first via the top nav menu.

From Concept to Classroom: Creating an Open Textbook in 12 months | 6 March

  • Wednesday, 06 March, 2024 12:00 pm-1:00 pm

Fostering inclusive education through Open Educational Practices | 4 March

  • Monday, 04 March, 2024 3:30 pm-4:30 pm

Center for Teaching Innovation

Resource library.

  • Examples of Collaborative Learning or Group Work Activities

Getting Started with Designing Group Work Assignments

  • Getting Started with Evaluating Group Work
  • Team-Based Learning Collaborative

First, think about the course learning outcomes  and how group work might address them. Then consider how groups will be organized, how student learning and group processes will be supported, and how students will be evaluated, if at all.    Short in-class activities may take less planning, but it is still important to consider how the process will play out in a classroom situation.    How will you introduce the activity? How much time is required? How will you debrief as a group? For in-class collaborative activities, focus on  asking effective questions  that engage students in the types of learning you are trying to encourage.    For more involved projects that take place over a longer period of time and for which students will be graded, plan each stage of the group work. 

How Will Groups be Formed?

Allowing students to form their own groups will likely result in uneven groupings. If possible, arrange groups by skills and/or backgrounds. For example, ask students to rate their comfort/ability-level on a number of skills (research, background knowledge of course topics, work experience, etc.) and try to arrange groups that include “experts” in different areas. Another possibility is to do a preliminary assessment and then based on the results, purposefully create groups that blend abilities. 

How Will you Ensure that Students are Productive?

Set aside time early in the semester to allow for icebreakers and team-building activities. Consider using class time for group work to eliminate students having to coordinate meeting times outside of class. Much of the group work can be done collaboratively online, again, lessening the difficulty of coordination. See more on how to manage groups in the next question. 

What Technology Might Assist the Group Work?

If technology use is required, you will need to incorporate learning activities around the use of the technology. At the beginning, do a low stakes activity that helps students become familiar with the technology. If other types of technology can facilitate the group work processes, guide students in its use. 

What can the Students do?

Choose assignment topics or tasks that are related to the real-world and can be connected to students’ lives. For example, have students try to analyze and solve a current local or international problem. Or have students complete tasks that involve using and developing skills that they will likely use in their future professional lives, such as writing a proposal or collaborating online. Here are some other considerations for creating effective group work activities: 

  • Break a larger assignment into smaller pieces and set multiple deadlines to ensure that students work toward reaching milestones throughout the process rather than pulling it all together at the last minute.
  • Incorporate  peer assessments  at each milestone to encourage self-awareness and to ensure ongoing feedback.
  • Tie in-class activities and lectures to the group assignment. For example, during class sessions, provide clues that will assist students in their group projects.
  • Be sure to explain how students will be evaluated and  use a rubric  to communicate these expectations. See more on how to evaluate group work in Getting Started with Evaluating Group Work .

Berkeley Graduate Division

  • Basics for GSIs
  • Advancing Your Skills

Group Work: Design Guidelines

by Shannon McCurdy, PhD, Physics

See also Group Work: Techniques

Learning Objectives How to Form Groups Group Size and Duration The Structure of Group Work Fostering Group Interaction Tips for Formulating Productive Group-Work Assignments

Learning Objectives

There are many learning objectives that can be achieved by having students collaborate either in pairs or in small groups. ( Bloom’s Taxonomy is a useful resource for formulating your learning objectives.) In groups, students can

  • summarize main points
  • review problems for exams
  • compare and contrast knowledge, ideas, or theories
  • solve problems
  • evaluate class progress or levels of skill and understanding

Think about your goals for the activity: what do you want your students to get out of their participation?

How to Form Groups

Small groups or learning teams can be formed in four ways: randomly, teacher-selected, by seat proximity, or student-selected. Random and teacher-selected group assignments avoid cliques and ensure that students interact with different classmates throughout the semester.

Once you know your students fairly well, teacher selection can be useful for grouping students. Consider selecting groups or pairs with varying strengths and skill levels, since research has shown that groups of problem solvers with diverse skills consistently out-perform groups of problem solvers who are highly skilled in the same way (Page, 2007, cited in Davis, 2009, 194).

You may also want to consider using your students’ attitudes toward group work as a mechanism to help you create groups. Take a one-question survey, or add this question to the initial survey you use at the beginning of the semester:

Which of the following best describes your experience of group work?

  • I like group work because my group helps me learn.
  • I question the value of group work because in the past I’ve ended up doing all the work.
  • I have little or no experience working in groups.
  • I have different experience of group work than the choices above. (Please explain.)

Those who check “B” can be put into a group of their own. They might find this to be the first time they are really challenged and satisfied by group work (adapted from Byrnes and Byrnes, 2009).

Group Size and Duration

Group size can vary, as can the length of time that students work together. Pairing is great for thirty-second or one-minute problem solving. Groups that work together for ten to 45 minutes might include four or five people. (If there are more than four or five, some members will stop participating). Groups can be formal or informal. Informal groups may be ad-hoc dyads (where each student turns to a neighbor) or ten-minute “buzz groups” (in which three to four students discuss their reactions to a reading assignment). Formal group assignments can serve semester-long group projects.

In large groups it is useful to assign roles within each group (examples: recorder, reporter to the class, timekeeper, monitor, or facilitator). If students are not used to working in groups, establishing some community agreements  with the class about respectful interaction before the first activity can foster positive and constructive communication.

It is useful to arrange the students in groups before giving them instructions for the group activity, since the physical movement in group formation tends to be distracting.

The Structure of Group Work

Successful group work activities require a highly structured task. Structure the task to promote interdependence for creating a group product. Create an activity for which it is truly advantageous for students to work together. Make this task clear to students by writing specific instructions on the board or on a worksheet. Include in your instructions:

  • The learning objective: Why are the students doing this? What will they gain from it? How does it tie into the rest of the course?
  • The specific task: “Decide,” “List,” “Prioritize,” “Solve,” “Choose.” (“Discuss” is too vague.)
  • The expected product: For example, reporting back to the class; handing in a sheet of paper; distributing a list of questions to the class.
  • The time allotment: Set a time limit. Err on the side of too little rather than too much. You can decide to give more time if necessary.
  • The method of reporting out; that is, of sharing group results with the class. Reporting out is useful for accomplishing closure. Closure is critical to the learning process. Students need to feel that the group-work activity added to their knowledge, skills, abilities, etc. Summary remarks from you can help to weave together the comments, products, and ideas generated by the small groups. However, group-work activity can also be concluded effectively by inviting individual students to synthesize the class’s overarching findings in the activity.

If your group work consists of a set of short problems for students to work through, as often happens in science and mathematics courses, there are many ways to structure the activity. Here are a few ideas, with some advantages and disadvantages.

You can give the whole class a single problem . Break into groups to solve it, then come back as a class and discuss the problem — either by having groups report out or by leading the discussion yourself. Then repeat.

  • Advantages: You know everyone is exposed to the correct way of thinking about things, so there is good closure for each problem.
  • Disadvantages: Potentially too much idle time for faster groups. This method can be very slow, so less material can be covered.

You can give each group a different problem  and have the groups report solutions back to the class.

  • Advantages : Students get some practice teaching as well as good exposure to problems and solutions.
  • Disadvantages : Students don’t get to practice as much problem solving.

You can give each group a different problem , have them solve it, and then have these groups split up and re-form in such a way that each new group has someone experienced with each of the problems. Then they can explain the solutions to each other.

  • Advantages : Students get a lot of practice explaining, as well as good exposure to problems.
  • Disadvantages : Students don’t get to practice many different problems.

You can give the whole class a set of problems  and discuss the set of problems with each group.

  • Advantages : Students work through more problems without significant idle time. You can address difficulties specific to each group.
  • Disadvantages : You may end up repeating yourself a lot. You also may be spread too thin, especially if several groups are stuck at the same time. If this happens, call the class back together when you find that all the groups are having difficulties at the same place.

Fostering Group Interaction

During group work, as tempting as it may be, do not disengage from your class and sit at the front of the room! Circulate and listen to your students. Are they on task, or are they talking about their weekend plans? Are students understanding the concepts and the assignment, or are they all stuck and confused? Do they have questions for you? Pull up a chair and join each group for a while.

On implementing group work for the first time in their section, some GSIs find that the students fall awkwardly silent when the GSI walks by or listens to their discussion. This is only temporary, and it should stop once your students are familiar with you and the group-work format. Because unfamiliarity drives this reaction, it is good to implement group work very early in the semester and to use it often in your section.

When a student in a group asks you a question, the natural reflex is to answer it. That’s your job, isn’t it? Well, not exactly — it’s lower on the list than empowering students to find answers to the questions they ask. Frequently a student asking a question hasn’t discussed it with the group yet and is not aware that members of the group either know the answer or have enough information to figure it out together. So especially early on, when your class is forming group-work habits, it is important not to answer questions — at least not at first. Instead, ask the other group members how they would approach the question. If no one in the group has an idea, you can either give the group a start on how to answer it, consult with a different group on the question, or answer the question yourself. (The latter is best considered a last resort.) Following this pattern will foster group interactions, and soon students will only ask you questions after they have discussed them with their group.

Tips for Formulating Productive Group-Work Assignments

  • Make sure you have specific and descriptive assignments. For example, instead of “Discuss projectile motion,” try “Solve for the final velocity of the projectile.” Instead of “Discuss the use of clickers in the classroom,” say “Analyze two cases and list criteria to evaluate the use of clickers in each one.” Giving specific group work helps students engage more deeply with content and helps them stay on task.
  • Ask questions that have more than one answer. (This may not work for all disciplines.) Students can then generate a variety of possible answers, explore what is involved with each, and evaluate them in comparison with the other answers.
  • Make the material that groups will analyze short — maybe just a short paragraph or a few sentences. Present it via handout, document camera, chalkboard, or another medium that all can easily see. Frequently, if groups have longer passages to analyze, their work goes well beyond the time-frame the GSI intends.
  • If the material is longer, provide concrete lines of questioning that are displayed prominently or handed out. This helps keep group work within the scale and time frame the GSI anticipates and reduces frustration.
  • Vary the format of the tasks. For example, on one day students might generate the questions they want to analyze; on another students may give arguments or provide evidence for or against a position or theory.

group of assignment

Create group assignments or assign to individual students

Create an assignment in Microsoft Teams for Education and assign it to individual or small groups of students in a class. Groups turn in one copy of the assignment that can be graded separately or together.

Create a new assignment

Navigate to your desired class team and select Assignments .

Select Create > Assignment .

Create a group assignment

groups of students

If you chose Randomly group students: 

Enter number of groups, then select Create groups .


When everything looks good, select Done . If you decide you need more edits, select Groups of students again.

Finish adding details to your assignment, then select Assign . Note that once an assignment has been distributed to students, you can no longer edit groups.  

More options button

If you chose Manually group students:

Select Create groups .

Edit the default group name, if desired.


Select Create .

When you're done, select + New group  and repeat Steps 2 and 3 until all students have been assigned to a group.

Finish adding details to your assignment, then select Assign . Note that once an assignment has been distributed to students, you can no longer edit groups.

Assign to individual students

Select the student dropdown under Assign to . By default, All Students will be selected. Select student names or type to search for a student.

Note:  You can only assign work to individual students in one class at a time.


Once you've selected the students, finish adding details to your assignment.

Select Assign . The students you chose will be notified of their new assignment.

Create an assignment

Grade an assignment

Edit an assignment

Additional resources for educators

Ask the community


Need more help?

Want more options.

Explore subscription benefits, browse training courses, learn how to secure your device, and more.

group of assignment

Microsoft 365 subscription benefits

group of assignment

Microsoft 365 training

group of assignment

Microsoft security

group of assignment

Accessibility center

Communities help you ask and answer questions, give feedback, and hear from experts with rich knowledge.

group of assignment

Ask the Microsoft Community

group of assignment

Microsoft Tech Community

group of assignment

Windows Insiders

Microsoft 365 Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

Create a group assignment

You can create a collaborative assignment for teams of students who participate in your course.

Who can use this feature?

Organization owners who are admins for a classroom can create and manage group assignments for a classroom. For more information on classroom admins, see " Manage classrooms ."

In this article

Note: In January 2024, GitHub Classroom will change the way student repositories are created from starter code repositories. Currently, the process requires starter code repositories to be templates, and GitHub Classroom creates a new repository for each student based on that template. With the upcoming change, student repositories will be created by forking the starter code repository.

This change addresses a frequently requested feature from teachers: the ability to change starter code after an assignment has been accepted by students.

You can read more about this change on the GitHub blog .

This feature is in public beta and subject to change.

About group assignments

A group assignment is collaborative coursework for groups of students on GitHub Classroom. Students can work together on a group assignment in a shared repository, like a team of professional developers.

When a student accepts a group assignment, the student can create a new team or join an existing team. GitHub Classroom saves the teams for an assignment as a set. You can name the set of teams for a specific assignment when you create the assignment, and you can reuse that set of teams for a later assignment.

For each group assignment, GitHub Classroom automatically creates a single shared repository for the team to access. The repository can be empty, or you can create the repository from a template repository with starter code, documentation, tests, and other resources. The repository belongs to your organization account on GitHub, and GitHub Classroom grants access to teams that students create or join when accepting the assignment.

Each assignment has a title and an optional deadline. You can choose the visibility of repositories that GitHub Classroom creates and choose access permissions. You can also automatically grade assignments and create a dedicated space to discuss the assignment with the student.

You can decide how many teams one assignment can have, and how many members each team can have. Each team that a student creates for an assignment is a team within your organization on GitHub. The visibility of the team is secret. Teams that you create on GitHub will not appear in GitHub Classroom. For more information, see " About teams ."

You can reuse existing assignments in any other classroom you have admin access to, including classrooms in a different organization. For more information, see " Reuse an assignment ."


You must create a classroom before you can create an assignment. For more information, see " Manage classrooms ."

Creating an assignment

  • Sign into GitHub Classroom .
  • Navigate to a classroom.
  • If this your first assignment, click Create an assignment .
  • Otherwise, click New assignment on the right side.

Setting up the basics for an assignment

Name your assignment, decide whether to assign a deadline, define teams, and choose the visibility of assignment repositories.

Naming an assignment

Assigning a deadline for an assignment, choosing an assignment type, defining teams for an assignment, choosing a visibility for assignment repositories.

For a group assignment, GitHub Classroom names repositories by the repository prefix and the name of the team. By default, the repository prefix is the assignment title. For example, if you name an assignment "assignment-1" and the team's name on GitHub is "student-team", the name of the assignment repository for members of the team will be assignment-1-student-team .

Under "Assignment title", type a title for the assignment. Optionally, click to edit the prefix.

Optionally, you can assign a deadline to the assignment. Under "Deadline (optional)", click in the text field, then use the date picker to assign a deadline.

Optionally, to make the deadline a cutoff date, select This is a cutoff date . If you use a cutoff date, students will lose write access to their assignment repositories after the cutoff date has passed unless they receive an extension. For more information on extending assignment deadlines, see " Extending an assignment's deadline for an individual or group ."

Under "Individual or group assignment", select the drop-down menu, then click Group assignment . You can't change the assignment type after you create the assignment. If you'd rather create an individual assignment, see " Create an individual assignment ."

If you've already created a group assignment for the classroom, you can reuse a set of teams for the new assignment. To create a new set with the teams that your students create for the assignment, type the name for the set. Optionally, type the maximum number of team members and total teams.

We recommend including details about the set of teams in the name for the set. For example, if you want to use the set of teams for one assignment, name the set after the assignment. If you want to reuse the set throughout a semester or course, name the set after the semester or course.

If you'd like to assign students to a specific team, give your students a name for the team and provide a list of members.

The repositories for an assignment can be public or private. If you use private repositories, only the student or team can see the feedback you provide.

You can also decide whether to grant students admin permissions to the repository for an assignment. Grant admin permissions if the student should be able to perform administrative tasks for the assignment repository. For more information, see " About repositories " and " Repository roles for an organization ."

Under "Repository visibility", select a visibility. Optionally, select Grant students admin access to their repository .

When you're done, click Continue to configure starter code and a development environment for the assignment.

Adding starter code and configuring a development environment

Optionally, decide whether to provide empty repositories or starter code, and preconfigure a development environment for your students.

Choosing a template repository

Choosing an integrated development environment (ide).

By default, a new assignment will create an empty repository for each team that a student creates. You can optionally choose a template repository as starter code for the assignment. For more information about template repositories, see " Creating a template repository ."

Note: The template repository must belong to your organization or be a public repository on GitHub.

Under "Add a template repository to give students starter code", select the Select a repository drop-down, then type a search query. In the list of results, click the template repository you'd like to use for starter code.

You can optionally configure an assignment to use an integrated development environment (IDE). IDEs allow your students to write code, run programs, and collaborate without installing Git and a full development toolchain on the student's computer. If you choose an IDE for an assignment, students can still check out and run code locally on a computer with the necessary software. For more information, see " Integrate GitHub Classroom with an IDE ."

You can choose to configure an assignment with GitHub Codespaces to give students access to a browser-based Visual Studio Code environment with one-click setup. For more information, see " Using GitHub Codespaces with GitHub Classroom ."

To choose an IDE for the assignment, select the Add an editor drop-down menu and click the IDE you'd like your students to use.

When you're done, click Continue to configure automatic grading and feedback for the project.

Providing feedback

Optionally, you can automatically grade assignments and create a space for discussing each submission with the team.

Testing assignments automatically

Creating a pull request for feedback.

You can use autograding to automatically check a student's work for an assignment on GitHub Classroom. You configure tests for an assignment, and the tests run immediately every time a student pushes to an assignment repository on GitHub.com. The student can view the test results, make changes, and push to see new results. For more information, see " Use autograding ."

Under "Add autograding tests", select the Add test drop-down menu, then click the grading method you want to use. For more information, see " Use autograding ."

Define the parameters of your test case, like the name, commands, inputs, outputs, timeout, and points. When you're done, click Save test case .

You can add more tests with the Add test drop-down menu, and you can edit or delete existing tests with or .

You can automatically create a pull request where you can provide feedback and answer a student's questions about an assignment. For more information about the review of changes in a pull request, see " Reviewing changes in pull requests ." For more information on leaving feedback in a pull request, see " Leave feedback with pull requests ."

To create pull requests for the discussion of feedback, select Enable feedback pull requests .

To create the assignment, click Create assignment .

Inviting students to an assignment

By default, GitHub Classroom enables an invitation URL for each assignment you create. Students can accept and submit the assignment while the invitation URL is enabled. You can share the URL with your students on your LMS, course homepage, or wherever you post assignments. Students can also navigate to the assignment on GitHub Classroom if the student has already accepted an assignment for the classroom.

Warning : Be careful where you share invitation URLs. Anyone with an invitation URL for an assignment can accept the invitation and associate a personal account on GitHub with an identifier in your roster.

You can see the teams that are working on or have submitted an assignment in the Teams tab for the assignment. To prevent acceptance or submission of an assignment by students, you can change the "Assignment Status" within the "Edit assignment" view. When an assignment is Active, students will be able to accept it using the invitation link. When it is Inactive, this link will no longer be valid.

Monitoring students' progress

The assignment overview page provides an overview of your assignment acceptances and student progress. For more information on viewing and using the assignment overview page, see " Monitor students' progress with the assignment overview page ."

After you create the assignment and your students form teams, team members can start work on the assignment using Git and GitHub's features. Students can clone the repository, push commits, manage branches, create and review pull requests, address merge conflicts, and discuss changes with issues. Both you and the team can review the commit history for the repository. For more information, see " Get started with GitHub documentation ," " Repositories documentation ," " Using Git ," and " Collaborating with pull requests ," and the free course on resolving merge conflicts from GitHub Skills.

When a team finishes an assignment, you can review the files in the repository, or you can review the history and visualizations for the repository to better understand how the team collaborated. For more information, see " Viewing activity and data for your repository ."

You can provide feedback for an assignment by commenting on individual commits or lines in a pull request. For more information, see " Commenting on a pull request " and " Creating an issue ." For more information about creating saved replies to provide feedback for common errors, see " About saved replies ."

Further reading

  • " GitHub Global Campus for teachers "
  • " Connect a learning management system course to a classroom "
  • " Using GitHub Classroom with GitHub CLI "

Eberly Center

Teaching excellence & educational innovation, what are the challenges of group work and how can i address them.

Unfortunately, groups can easily end up being less, rather than more, than the sum of their parts. Why is this?

In this section, we consider the hazards of group projects and strategies instructors can use to avoid or mitigate them. Find other strategies and examples here or contact the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence for help.

For students, common challenges of group work include:

  • Coordination costs
  • Motivation costs
  • Intellectual costs

For instructors, common challenges involve:

  • Allocating time
  • Teaching process skills
  • Assessing process as well as product
  • Assessing individual as well as group learning

Challenges for students

Coordination costs represent time and energy that group work consumes that individual work does not, including the time it takes to coordinate schedules, arrange meetings, meet, correspond, make decisions collectively, integrate the contributions of group members, etc. The time spent on each of these tasks may not be great, but together they are significant.

Coordination costs can’t be eliminated, nor should they be: after all, coordinating the efforts of multiple team members is an important skill. However, if coordination costs are excessive or are not factored into the structure of group assignments, groups tend to miss deadlines, their work is poorly integrated, motivation suffers, and creativity declines.

Instructors should note that coordination costs increase with:

  • Group size: The more people in the group, the more schedules to accommodate, parts to delegate, opinions to consider, pieces to integrate, etc. Smaller groups have lower coordination costs.
  • Task interdependence: Tasks in which group members are highly reliant on one another at all stages tend to have higher coordination costs than tasks that allow students to “divide and conquer”, though they may not satisfy the same collaborative goals.
  • Heterogeneity: Heterogeneity of group members tends to raises coordination costs, especially if there are language issues to contend with, cultural differences to bridge, and disparate skills to integrate. However, since diversity of perspectives is one of the principle advantages of groups, this should not necessarily be avoided.

Strategies: To help reduce or mitigate coordination costs:

  • Keep groups small.
  • Designate some class time for group meetings.
  • Use group resumes or skills inventories to help teams delegate subtasks.
  • Assign roles (e.g., group leader, scheduler) or encourage students to do so.
  • Point students to digital tools that facilitate remote and/or asynchronous meetings.
  • Warn students about time-consuming stages and tasks.
  • Actively build communication and conflict resolution skills.
  • Designate time in the project schedule for the group to integrate parts.

Motivation costs refers to the adverse effect on student motivation of working in groups, which often involves one or more of these phenomena:

  • Free riding occurs when one or more group members leave most or all of the work to a few, more diligent, members. Free riding – if not addressed proactively – tends to erode the long-term motivation of hard-working students.
  • Social loafing describes the tendency of group members to exert less effort than they can or should because of the reduced sense of accountability (think of how many people don’t bother to vote, figuring that someone else will do it.) Social loafing lowers group productivity.
  • Conflict within groups can erode morale and cause members to withdraw. It can be subtle or pronounced, and can (but isn’t always) the cause and result of free riding. Conflict – if not effectively addressed – can leave group members with a deeply jaundiced view of teams.

Strategies: To address both preexisting and potential motivation problems:

  • Explain why working in groups is worth the frustration.
  • Establish clear expectations for group members, by setting ground rules and/or using team contracts.
  • Increase individual accountability by combining group assessments with individual assessments. 
  • Teach conflict-resolution skills and reinforce them by role-playing responses to hypothetical team conflict scenarios. 
  • Assess group processes via periodic process reports, self-evaluations, and peer evaluations.

Intellectual costs refer to characteristics of group behavior that can reduce creativity and productivity. These include:

  • Groupthink : the tendency of groups to conform to a perceived majority view. 
  • Escalation of commitment : the tendency of groups to become more committed to their plans and strategies – even ineffective ones – over time. 
  • Transparency illusion : the tendency of group members to believe their thoughts, attitudes and reasons are more obvious to others than is actually the case.
  • Common information effect : the tendency of groups to focus on information all members share and ignore unique information, however relevant.

Strategies: To reduce intellectual costs and increase the creativity and productivity of groups:

  • Precede group brainstorming with a period of individual brainstorming (sometimes called “nominal group technique”). This forestalls groupthink and helps the group generate and consider more different ideas.
  • Encourage group members to reflect on and highlight their contributions in periodic self-evaluations. 
  • Create structured opportunities at the halfway point of projects to allow students to reevaluate and revise their strategies and approaches.
  • Assign roles to group members that reduce conformity and push the group intellectually (devil’s advocate, doubter, the Fool).

Challenges for instructors

While group assignments have benefits for instructors , they also have complexities that instructors should consider carefully, for example in these areas:

Allocating time: While group assignments may save instructors time in some areas (e.g., grading final projects), they may add time in other areas (e.g., time needed up front to identify appropriate project topics, contact external clients, compose student groups; time during the semester to meet with and monitor student groups; time at the end of the semester to ascertain the contributions of individual team members.)

Teaching process skills: Functioning effectively in teams requires students to develop strong communication, coordination, and conflict resolution skills, which not all instructors feel qualified to teach. Many instructors are also reluctant to devote class time to reinforcing these skills and may be uncomfortable dealing with the interpersonal issues that can arise in groups. In other words, dealing proactively with team dynamics may push some instructors out of their comfort zone.

Assessing process as well as product: Assessing teamwork skills and group dynamics (i.e., process) can be far trickier than assessing a team’s work (i.e., product). Effective evaluation of process requires thoughtful consideration of learning objectives and a combination of assessment approaches. This creates layers of complexity that instructors may not anticipate.

Assessing individual as well as group learning: Group grades can hide significant differences in learning, yet teasing out which team members did and did not contribute to the group or learn the lessons of the assignment can be difficult. Once again, this adds complexity to group projects that instructors often underestimate. 

Find effective strategies to help faculty address these issues in the design of effective group projects .

creative commons image

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Understanding Assignments

What this handout is about.

The first step in any successful college writing venture is reading the assignment. While this sounds like a simple task, it can be a tough one. This handout will help you unravel your assignment and begin to craft an effective response. Much of the following advice will involve translating typical assignment terms and practices into meaningful clues to the type of writing your instructor expects. See our short video for more tips.

Basic beginnings

Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well :

  • Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later. An assignment can look pretty straightforward at first, particularly if the instructor has provided lots of information. That does not mean it will not take time and effort to complete; you may even have to learn a new skill to complete the assignment.
  • Ask the instructor about anything you do not understand. Do not hesitate to approach your instructor. Instructors would prefer to set you straight before you hand the paper in. That’s also when you will find their feedback most useful.

Assignment formats

Many assignments follow a basic format. Assignments often begin with an overview of the topic, include a central verb or verbs that describe the task, and offer some additional suggestions, questions, or prompts to get you started.

An Overview of Some Kind

The instructor might set the stage with some general discussion of the subject of the assignment, introduce the topic, or remind you of something pertinent that you have discussed in class. For example:

“Throughout history, gerbils have played a key role in politics,” or “In the last few weeks of class, we have focused on the evening wear of the housefly …”

The Task of the Assignment

Pay attention; this part tells you what to do when you write the paper. Look for the key verb or verbs in the sentence. Words like analyze, summarize, or compare direct you to think about your topic in a certain way. Also pay attention to words such as how, what, when, where, and why; these words guide your attention toward specific information. (See the section in this handout titled “Key Terms” for more information.)

“Analyze the effect that gerbils had on the Russian Revolution”, or “Suggest an interpretation of housefly undergarments that differs from Darwin’s.”

Additional Material to Think about

Here you will find some questions to use as springboards as you begin to think about the topic. Instructors usually include these questions as suggestions rather than requirements. Do not feel compelled to answer every question unless the instructor asks you to do so. Pay attention to the order of the questions. Sometimes they suggest the thinking process your instructor imagines you will need to follow to begin thinking about the topic.

“You may wish to consider the differing views held by Communist gerbils vs. Monarchist gerbils, or Can there be such a thing as ‘the housefly garment industry’ or is it just a home-based craft?”

These are the instructor’s comments about writing expectations:

“Be concise”, “Write effectively”, or “Argue furiously.”

Technical Details

These instructions usually indicate format rules or guidelines.

“Your paper must be typed in Palatino font on gray paper and must not exceed 600 pages. It is due on the anniversary of Mao Tse-tung’s death.”

The assignment’s parts may not appear in exactly this order, and each part may be very long or really short. Nonetheless, being aware of this standard pattern can help you understand what your instructor wants you to do.

Interpreting the assignment

Ask yourself a few basic questions as you read and jot down the answers on the assignment sheet:

Why did your instructor ask you to do this particular task?

Who is your audience.

  • What kind of evidence do you need to support your ideas?

What kind of writing style is acceptable?

  • What are the absolute rules of the paper?

Try to look at the question from the point of view of the instructor. Recognize that your instructor has a reason for giving you this assignment and for giving it to you at a particular point in the semester. In every assignment, the instructor has a challenge for you. This challenge could be anything from demonstrating an ability to think clearly to demonstrating an ability to use the library. See the assignment not as a vague suggestion of what to do but as an opportunity to show that you can handle the course material as directed. Paper assignments give you more than a topic to discuss—they ask you to do something with the topic. Keep reminding yourself of that. Be careful to avoid the other extreme as well: do not read more into the assignment than what is there.

Of course, your instructor has given you an assignment so that he or she will be able to assess your understanding of the course material and give you an appropriate grade. But there is more to it than that. Your instructor has tried to design a learning experience of some kind. Your instructor wants you to think about something in a particular way for a particular reason. If you read the course description at the beginning of your syllabus, review the assigned readings, and consider the assignment itself, you may begin to see the plan, purpose, or approach to the subject matter that your instructor has created for you. If you still aren’t sure of the assignment’s goals, try asking the instructor. For help with this, see our handout on getting feedback .

Given your instructor’s efforts, it helps to answer the question: What is my purpose in completing this assignment? Is it to gather research from a variety of outside sources and present a coherent picture? Is it to take material I have been learning in class and apply it to a new situation? Is it to prove a point one way or another? Key words from the assignment can help you figure this out. Look for key terms in the form of active verbs that tell you what to do.

Key Terms: Finding Those Active Verbs

Here are some common key words and definitions to help you think about assignment terms:

Information words Ask you to demonstrate what you know about the subject, such as who, what, when, where, how, and why.

  • define —give the subject’s meaning (according to someone or something). Sometimes you have to give more than one view on the subject’s meaning
  • describe —provide details about the subject by answering question words (such as who, what, when, where, how, and why); you might also give details related to the five senses (what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell)
  • explain —give reasons why or examples of how something happened
  • illustrate —give descriptive examples of the subject and show how each is connected with the subject
  • summarize —briefly list the important ideas you learned about the subject
  • trace —outline how something has changed or developed from an earlier time to its current form
  • research —gather material from outside sources about the subject, often with the implication or requirement that you will analyze what you have found

Relation words Ask you to demonstrate how things are connected.

  • compare —show how two or more things are similar (and, sometimes, different)
  • contrast —show how two or more things are dissimilar
  • apply—use details that you’ve been given to demonstrate how an idea, theory, or concept works in a particular situation
  • cause —show how one event or series of events made something else happen
  • relate —show or describe the connections between things

Interpretation words Ask you to defend ideas of your own about the subject. Do not see these words as requesting opinion alone (unless the assignment specifically says so), but as requiring opinion that is supported by concrete evidence. Remember examples, principles, definitions, or concepts from class or research and use them in your interpretation.

  • assess —summarize your opinion of the subject and measure it against something
  • prove, justify —give reasons or examples to demonstrate how or why something is the truth
  • evaluate, respond —state your opinion of the subject as good, bad, or some combination of the two, with examples and reasons
  • support —give reasons or evidence for something you believe (be sure to state clearly what it is that you believe)
  • synthesize —put two or more things together that have not been put together in class or in your readings before; do not just summarize one and then the other and say that they are similar or different—you must provide a reason for putting them together that runs all the way through the paper
  • analyze —determine how individual parts create or relate to the whole, figure out how something works, what it might mean, or why it is important
  • argue —take a side and defend it with evidence against the other side

More Clues to Your Purpose As you read the assignment, think about what the teacher does in class:

  • What kinds of textbooks or coursepack did your instructor choose for the course—ones that provide background information, explain theories or perspectives, or argue a point of view?
  • In lecture, does your instructor ask your opinion, try to prove her point of view, or use keywords that show up again in the assignment?
  • What kinds of assignments are typical in this discipline? Social science classes often expect more research. Humanities classes thrive on interpretation and analysis.
  • How do the assignments, readings, and lectures work together in the course? Instructors spend time designing courses, sometimes even arguing with their peers about the most effective course materials. Figuring out the overall design to the course will help you understand what each assignment is meant to achieve.

Now, what about your reader? Most undergraduates think of their audience as the instructor. True, your instructor is a good person to keep in mind as you write. But for the purposes of a good paper, think of your audience as someone like your roommate: smart enough to understand a clear, logical argument, but not someone who already knows exactly what is going on in your particular paper. Remember, even if the instructor knows everything there is to know about your paper topic, he or she still has to read your paper and assess your understanding. In other words, teach the material to your reader.

Aiming a paper at your audience happens in two ways: you make decisions about the tone and the level of information you want to convey.

  • Tone means the “voice” of your paper. Should you be chatty, formal, or objective? Usually you will find some happy medium—you do not want to alienate your reader by sounding condescending or superior, but you do not want to, um, like, totally wig on the man, you know? Eschew ostentatious erudition: some students think the way to sound academic is to use big words. Be careful—you can sound ridiculous, especially if you use the wrong big words.
  • The level of information you use depends on who you think your audience is. If you imagine your audience as your instructor and she already knows everything you have to say, you may find yourself leaving out key information that can cause your argument to be unconvincing and illogical. But you do not have to explain every single word or issue. If you are telling your roommate what happened on your favorite science fiction TV show last night, you do not say, “First a dark-haired white man of average height, wearing a suit and carrying a flashlight, walked into the room. Then a purple alien with fifteen arms and at least three eyes turned around. Then the man smiled slightly. In the background, you could hear a clock ticking. The room was fairly dark and had at least two windows that I saw.” You also do not say, “This guy found some aliens. The end.” Find some balance of useful details that support your main point.

You’ll find a much more detailed discussion of these concepts in our handout on audience .

The Grim Truth

With a few exceptions (including some lab and ethnography reports), you are probably being asked to make an argument. You must convince your audience. It is easy to forget this aim when you are researching and writing; as you become involved in your subject matter, you may become enmeshed in the details and focus on learning or simply telling the information you have found. You need to do more than just repeat what you have read. Your writing should have a point, and you should be able to say it in a sentence. Sometimes instructors call this sentence a “thesis” or a “claim.”

So, if your instructor tells you to write about some aspect of oral hygiene, you do not want to just list: “First, you brush your teeth with a soft brush and some peanut butter. Then, you floss with unwaxed, bologna-flavored string. Finally, gargle with bourbon.” Instead, you could say, “Of all the oral cleaning methods, sandblasting removes the most plaque. Therefore it should be recommended by the American Dental Association.” Or, “From an aesthetic perspective, moldy teeth can be quite charming. However, their joys are short-lived.”

Convincing the reader of your argument is the goal of academic writing. It doesn’t have to say “argument” anywhere in the assignment for you to need one. Look at the assignment and think about what kind of argument you could make about it instead of just seeing it as a checklist of information you have to present. For help with understanding the role of argument in academic writing, see our handout on argument .

What kind of evidence do you need?

There are many kinds of evidence, and what type of evidence will work for your assignment can depend on several factors–the discipline, the parameters of the assignment, and your instructor’s preference. Should you use statistics? Historical examples? Do you need to conduct your own experiment? Can you rely on personal experience? See our handout on evidence for suggestions on how to use evidence appropriately.

Make sure you are clear about this part of the assignment, because your use of evidence will be crucial in writing a successful paper. You are not just learning how to argue; you are learning how to argue with specific types of materials and ideas. Ask your instructor what counts as acceptable evidence. You can also ask a librarian for help. No matter what kind of evidence you use, be sure to cite it correctly—see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial .

You cannot always tell from the assignment just what sort of writing style your instructor expects. The instructor may be really laid back in class but still expect you to sound formal in writing. Or the instructor may be fairly formal in class and ask you to write a reflection paper where you need to use “I” and speak from your own experience.

Try to avoid false associations of a particular field with a style (“art historians like wacky creativity,” or “political scientists are boring and just give facts”) and look instead to the types of readings you have been given in class. No one expects you to write like Plato—just use the readings as a guide for what is standard or preferable to your instructor. When in doubt, ask your instructor about the level of formality she or he expects.

No matter what field you are writing for or what facts you are including, if you do not write so that your reader can understand your main idea, you have wasted your time. So make clarity your main goal. For specific help with style, see our handout on style .

Technical details about the assignment

The technical information you are given in an assignment always seems like the easy part. This section can actually give you lots of little hints about approaching the task. Find out if elements such as page length and citation format (see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial ) are negotiable. Some professors do not have strong preferences as long as you are consistent and fully answer the assignment. Some professors are very specific and will deduct big points for deviations.

Usually, the page length tells you something important: The instructor thinks the size of the paper is appropriate to the assignment’s parameters. In plain English, your instructor is telling you how many pages it should take for you to answer the question as fully as you are expected to. So if an assignment is two pages long, you cannot pad your paper with examples or reword your main idea several times. Hit your one point early, defend it with the clearest example, and finish quickly. If an assignment is ten pages long, you can be more complex in your main points and examples—and if you can only produce five pages for that assignment, you need to see someone for help—as soon as possible.

Tricks that don’t work

Your instructors are not fooled when you:

  • spend more time on the cover page than the essay —graphics, cool binders, and cute titles are no replacement for a well-written paper.
  • use huge fonts, wide margins, or extra spacing to pad the page length —these tricks are immediately obvious to the eye. Most instructors use the same word processor you do. They know what’s possible. Such tactics are especially damning when the instructor has a stack of 60 papers to grade and yours is the only one that low-flying airplane pilots could read.
  • use a paper from another class that covered “sort of similar” material . Again, the instructor has a particular task for you to fulfill in the assignment that usually relates to course material and lectures. Your other paper may not cover this material, and turning in the same paper for more than one course may constitute an Honor Code violation . Ask the instructor—it can’t hurt.
  • get all wacky and “creative” before you answer the question . Showing that you are able to think beyond the boundaries of a simple assignment can be good, but you must do what the assignment calls for first. Again, check with your instructor. A humorous tone can be refreshing for someone grading a stack of papers, but it will not get you a good grade if you have not fulfilled the task.

Critical reading of assignments leads to skills in other types of reading and writing. If you get good at figuring out what the real goals of assignments are, you are going to be better at understanding the goals of all of your classes and fields of study.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Make a Gift

Example Group Assignments

  • Divide students into teams, designating one student as a leader. Have the students apply course concepts to solving a problem and report back to the class. Other groups or students are encouraged to comment on the final solutions of other teams. 2  
  • Students complete an assignment that will be assessed by their peers. This is an effective learning assessment tool when there are no right or wrong answers and when several methods can be used to solve a problem.  
  • Students complete a draft of an essay or an oral report, then have peers critique and edit.  It’s valuable to have the assessment rubric available to use as an editing guide. 1
  • Students read assigned material and come up with questions reflective of their reading. They can post their questions to a designated Blackboard discussion thread, and work on answering the questions individually or in groups. The instructor monitors, redirects, settles disputes, or adds comment to lead the discussion in a new direction or positively reinforce students.  
  • Use the jigsaw for complex problem solving. First, separate students into expert groups. Each group is assigned a different piece of the concept to present to the class. In the expert group, the students work on ways to present their piece to the larger class so the class understands the concept. The students teach the class the concept. Assess learning through peer review or individual quizzes. This activity ensures individual responsibility while using collaborative learning. 1
  • Students describe someone they admire in their field, contact and interview this person. The assignment is structured so the student learns how to make contacts and report back on their experiences. On a more simple level, students could network with other students in their class to practice networking and learn about what other experiences students are bringing to the class.  
  • Wikis help streamline group projects by allowing students to collaborate seamlessly while providing the instructor with a digital footprint of each group member who contributed to the project.
  • http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/CLChapter.pdf
  • https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/developing-assignments/group-work/group-work-classroom-types-small-groups
  • http://www.uwlax.edu/catl/studentlearning/presentations/collaborativelearningtechniqueshandout.pdf
  • https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/setting-up-and-facilitating-group-work-using-cooperative-learning-groups-effectively/
  • Marketing Assignment Help
  • Law Assignment Help
  • Finance Assignment Help
  • Assignment Help

MakeMyAssignments Blog

Tips for working in a Group Assignment

  • September 8, 2020
  • Academic Help , Assignment help , Assignment Writing Service , Education , Fun Stuff , general awareness , general knowledge , informative blogs , Some Advice , Tips

Students are often assigned with different types of assignments in their academic career, which also brings us to the aspect of writing group assignments for academics. According to teachers and experts, group assignments are considered to be the most effective means for learning that have been instituted by many educational organizations in the spirit of infusing teamwork among students. Participating in such effective and useful group assignments help students develop a lot of good qualities and skills that might benefit them in their academic as well as professional career. Besides teamwork, students also get the chance to develop their leadership skills that can be very helpful for their professional career.

However, as easy as it might sound right now, preparing group assignments is quite a tough job to perform. If you are also told to prepare effective group assignments for evaluation, then make sure that you think of some of the best ways to make your experience great, making it sound phenomenal to the ears of evaluators. You must prepare yourself well with the obstacles that come in the process of creating group assignments, as they are evaluated with more of a critical perspective than an individual assignment.

Well, you must not worry about your grades now regarding your group assignments for academics because this blog will help you guide with the process by offering some of the best tips acclaimed by highly experienced professionals in the field. Without wasting any of your time, let’s just take a look at this blog further to know more about it-

group of assignment

Exchange all the necessary details

The very first thing that you need to do when you join a group is that you share all the necessary details and information with your teammates. This is something that needs to be done immediately after the project gets assigned to students. Most of you might also think that since it is a group assignment , things would work eventually well with the pace and speed of your work. But in reality, since a lot of people are involved in a single project, the pace at which the individual parts of the assignment would work might vary. Once you have shared all the important details regarding your teammates, you can also create a group on one of the highly used social media platforms for better communication and discussion.

Assign a leader for the group

It is really important for a group to first assign its leader in charge for a better initiation of the assignment. This will also keep things in control and manageable to be performed well, eventually fetching good grades in academics. In most of the cases, students are eager enough to nominate themselves for the role of a leader, but they should always keep this thing in mind that the job of a leader is not an easy one, as it comes with many responsibilities and duties. Well, if you get the chance of becoming a leader of your group, make sure that you ensure connectivity and good communication among your group members and the kind of work they do. The leader should also be able to set a clear goal for the group in terms of the assignment given to them.

Create a timeline of events

While working for any group assignment for academics, it is important that you draw a timeline for it in order to meet the expectations of your work and its progress. This timeline should obviously include all the meeting details and the critical evaluation stage for every progress you make for your assignment . This should also mention all the details regarding your dates and submissions, with specific tasks to be performed accordingly, as mentioned before.

Divide the tasks equally

During your first meeting, you essentially assign the task to every teammate as per his calibre and idea to perform. But you also need to make sure that each of the work gets assigned equally to every teammate, with no reflections of discrimination in the division of work. Divide your work wisely into small categories of tasks, as this will help you manage your assignment effectively. Under this stage, the leader should act responsible and wise towards his duty of assigning the task, where enough time is invested in figuring out the right amount of work for every member of the group.

Therefore, all you need to make sure now is that your group follows these tips effectively for better evaluation of their project. Apart from just the group assignments, if you require any kind of help regarding your individual projects and assignments , feel free to contact our online academic writing services for professional help and guidance.

group of assignment

Why teachers are quitting, and youngsters are not keen on joining the profession?

Teaching is considered to be one of the most respectable jobs in the entire society.…

group of assignment

The evolution of education

With the rise and growth of civilizations in the ancient world, the need for transmission…

group of assignment

Which career to opt for after graduation?

Which career to opt for after graduation is the most recurring question of almost 80%…

  • previous post: Writing an Executive Summary for your academics
  • next post: Tips for adopting the PEEL Writing Strategy
  • Privacy Policy
  • SignUp/Login

Research Method

Home » Assignment – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Assignment – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents



Assignment is a task given to students by a teacher or professor, usually as a means of assessing their understanding and application of course material. Assignments can take various forms, including essays, research papers, presentations, problem sets, lab reports, and more.

Assignments are typically designed to be completed outside of class time and may require independent research, critical thinking, and analysis. They are often graded and used as a significant component of a student’s overall course grade. The instructions for an assignment usually specify the goals, requirements, and deadlines for completion, and students are expected to meet these criteria to earn a good grade.

History of Assignment

The use of assignments as a tool for teaching and learning has been a part of education for centuries. Following is a brief history of the Assignment.

  • Ancient Times: Assignments such as writing exercises, recitations, and memorization tasks were used to reinforce learning.
  • Medieval Period : Universities began to develop the concept of the assignment, with students completing essays, commentaries, and translations to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
  • 19th Century : With the growth of schools and universities, assignments became more widespread and were used to assess student progress and achievement.
  • 20th Century: The rise of distance education and online learning led to the further development of assignments as an integral part of the educational process.
  • Present Day: Assignments continue to be used in a variety of educational settings and are seen as an effective way to promote student learning and assess student achievement. The nature and format of assignments continue to evolve in response to changing educational needs and technological innovations.

Types of Assignment

Here are some of the most common types of assignments:

An essay is a piece of writing that presents an argument, analysis, or interpretation of a topic or question. It usually consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Essay structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the topic and thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs : each paragraph presents a different argument or idea, with evidence and analysis to support it
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key points and reiterates the thesis statement

Research paper

A research paper involves gathering and analyzing information on a particular topic, and presenting the findings in a well-structured, documented paper. It usually involves conducting original research, collecting data, and presenting it in a clear, organized manner.

Research paper structure:

  • Title page : includes the title of the paper, author’s name, date, and institution
  • Abstract : summarizes the paper’s main points and conclusions
  • Introduction : provides background information on the topic and research question
  • Literature review: summarizes previous research on the topic
  • Methodology : explains how the research was conducted
  • Results : presents the findings of the research
  • Discussion : interprets the results and draws conclusions
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key findings and implications

A case study involves analyzing a real-life situation, problem or issue, and presenting a solution or recommendations based on the analysis. It often involves extensive research, data analysis, and critical thinking.

Case study structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the case study and its purpose
  • Background : provides context and background information on the case
  • Analysis : examines the key issues and problems in the case
  • Solution/recommendations: proposes solutions or recommendations based on the analysis
  • Conclusion: Summarize the key points and implications

A lab report is a scientific document that summarizes the results of a laboratory experiment or research project. It typically includes an introduction, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

Lab report structure:

  • Title page : includes the title of the experiment, author’s name, date, and institution
  • Abstract : summarizes the purpose, methodology, and results of the experiment
  • Methods : explains how the experiment was conducted
  • Results : presents the findings of the experiment


A presentation involves delivering information, data or findings to an audience, often with the use of visual aids such as slides, charts, or diagrams. It requires clear communication skills, good organization, and effective use of technology.

Presentation structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the topic and purpose of the presentation
  • Body : presents the main points, findings, or data, with the help of visual aids
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key points and provides a closing statement

Creative Project

A creative project is an assignment that requires students to produce something original, such as a painting, sculpture, video, or creative writing piece. It allows students to demonstrate their creativity and artistic skills.

Creative project structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the project and its purpose
  • Body : presents the creative work, with explanations or descriptions as needed
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key elements and reflects on the creative process.

Examples of Assignments

Following are Examples of Assignment templates samples:

Essay template:

I. Introduction

  • Hook: Grab the reader’s attention with a catchy opening sentence.
  • Background: Provide some context or background information on the topic.
  • Thesis statement: State the main argument or point of your essay.

II. Body paragraphs

  • Topic sentence: Introduce the main idea or argument of the paragraph.
  • Evidence: Provide evidence or examples to support your point.
  • Analysis: Explain how the evidence supports your argument.
  • Transition: Use a transition sentence to lead into the next paragraph.

III. Conclusion

  • Restate thesis: Summarize your main argument or point.
  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your essay.
  • Concluding thoughts: End with a final thought or call to action.

Research paper template:

I. Title page

  • Title: Give your paper a descriptive title.
  • Author: Include your name and institutional affiliation.
  • Date: Provide the date the paper was submitted.

II. Abstract

  • Background: Summarize the background and purpose of your research.
  • Methodology: Describe the methods you used to conduct your research.
  • Results: Summarize the main findings of your research.
  • Conclusion: Provide a brief summary of the implications and conclusions of your research.

III. Introduction

  • Background: Provide some background information on the topic.
  • Research question: State your research question or hypothesis.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of your research.

IV. Literature review

  • Background: Summarize previous research on the topic.
  • Gaps in research: Identify gaps or areas that need further research.

V. Methodology

  • Participants: Describe the participants in your study.
  • Procedure: Explain the procedure you used to conduct your research.
  • Measures: Describe the measures you used to collect data.

VI. Results

  • Quantitative results: Summarize the quantitative data you collected.
  • Qualitative results: Summarize the qualitative data you collected.

VII. Discussion

  • Interpretation: Interpret the results and explain what they mean.
  • Implications: Discuss the implications of your research.
  • Limitations: Identify any limitations or weaknesses of your research.

VIII. Conclusion

  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your paper.

Case study template:

  • Background: Provide background information on the case.
  • Research question: State the research question or problem you are examining.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of the case study.

II. Analysis

  • Problem: Identify the main problem or issue in the case.
  • Factors: Describe the factors that contributed to the problem.
  • Alternative solutions: Describe potential solutions to the problem.

III. Solution/recommendations

  • Proposed solution: Describe the solution you are proposing.
  • Rationale: Explain why this solution is the best one.
  • Implementation: Describe how the solution can be implemented.

IV. Conclusion

  • Summary: Summarize the main points of your case study.

Lab report template:

  • Title: Give your report a descriptive title.
  • Date: Provide the date the report was submitted.
  • Background: Summarize the background and purpose of the experiment.
  • Methodology: Describe the methods you used to conduct the experiment.
  • Results: Summarize the main findings of the experiment.
  • Conclusion: Provide a brief summary of the implications and conclusions
  • Background: Provide some background information on the experiment.
  • Hypothesis: State your hypothesis or research question.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of the experiment.

IV. Materials and methods

  • Materials: List the materials and equipment used in the experiment.
  • Procedure: Describe the procedure you followed to conduct the experiment.
  • Data: Present the data you collected in tables or graphs.
  • Analysis: Analyze the data and describe the patterns or trends you observed.

VI. Discussion

  • Implications: Discuss the implications of your findings.
  • Limitations: Identify any limitations or weaknesses of the experiment.

VII. Conclusion

  • Restate hypothesis: Summarize your hypothesis or research question.
  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your report.

Presentation template:

  • Attention grabber: Grab the audience’s attention with a catchy opening.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of your presentation.
  • Overview: Provide an overview of what you will cover in your presentation.

II. Main points

  • Main point 1: Present the first main point of your presentation.
  • Supporting details: Provide supporting details or evidence to support your point.
  • Main point 2: Present the second main point of your presentation.
  • Main point 3: Present the third main point of your presentation.
  • Summary: Summarize the main points of your presentation.
  • Call to action: End with a final thought or call to action.

Creative writing template:

  • Setting: Describe the setting of your story.
  • Characters: Introduce the main characters of your story.
  • Rising action: Introduce the conflict or problem in your story.
  • Climax: Present the most intense moment of the story.
  • Falling action: Resolve the conflict or problem in your story.
  • Resolution: Describe how the conflict or problem was resolved.
  • Final thoughts: End with a final thought or reflection on the story.

How to Write Assignment

Here is a general guide on how to write an assignment:

  • Understand the assignment prompt: Before you begin writing, make sure you understand what the assignment requires. Read the prompt carefully and make note of any specific requirements or guidelines.
  • Research and gather information: Depending on the type of assignment, you may need to do research to gather information to support your argument or points. Use credible sources such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites.
  • Organize your ideas : Once you have gathered all the necessary information, organize your ideas into a clear and logical structure. Consider creating an outline or diagram to help you visualize your ideas.
  • Write a draft: Begin writing your assignment using your organized ideas and research. Don’t worry too much about grammar or sentence structure at this point; the goal is to get your thoughts down on paper.
  • Revise and edit: After you have written a draft, revise and edit your work. Make sure your ideas are presented in a clear and concise manner, and that your sentences and paragraphs flow smoothly.
  • Proofread: Finally, proofread your work for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. It’s a good idea to have someone else read over your assignment as well to catch any mistakes you may have missed.
  • Submit your assignment : Once you are satisfied with your work, submit your assignment according to the instructions provided by your instructor or professor.

Applications of Assignment

Assignments have many applications across different fields and industries. Here are a few examples:

  • Education : Assignments are a common tool used in education to help students learn and demonstrate their knowledge. They can be used to assess a student’s understanding of a particular topic, to develop critical thinking skills, and to improve writing and research abilities.
  • Business : Assignments can be used in the business world to assess employee skills, to evaluate job performance, and to provide training opportunities. They can also be used to develop business plans, marketing strategies, and financial projections.
  • Journalism : Assignments are often used in journalism to produce news articles, features, and investigative reports. Journalists may be assigned to cover a particular event or topic, or to research and write a story on a specific subject.
  • Research : Assignments can be used in research to collect and analyze data, to conduct experiments, and to present findings in written or oral form. Researchers may be assigned to conduct research on a specific topic, to write a research paper, or to present their findings at a conference or seminar.
  • Government : Assignments can be used in government to develop policy proposals, to conduct research, and to analyze data. Government officials may be assigned to work on a specific project or to conduct research on a particular topic.
  • Non-profit organizations: Assignments can be used in non-profit organizations to develop fundraising strategies, to plan events, and to conduct research. Volunteers may be assigned to work on a specific project or to help with a particular task.

Purpose of Assignment

The purpose of an assignment varies depending on the context in which it is given. However, some common purposes of assignments include:

  • Assessing learning: Assignments are often used to assess a student’s understanding of a particular topic or concept. This allows educators to determine if a student has mastered the material or if they need additional support.
  • Developing skills: Assignments can be used to develop a wide range of skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and communication. Assignments that require students to analyze and synthesize information can help to build these skills.
  • Encouraging creativity: Assignments can be designed to encourage students to be creative and think outside the box. This can help to foster innovation and original thinking.
  • Providing feedback : Assignments provide an opportunity for teachers to provide feedback to students on their progress and performance. Feedback can help students to understand where they need to improve and to develop a growth mindset.
  • Meeting learning objectives : Assignments can be designed to help students meet specific learning objectives or outcomes. For example, a writing assignment may be designed to help students improve their writing skills, while a research assignment may be designed to help students develop their research skills.

When to write Assignment

Assignments are typically given by instructors or professors as part of a course or academic program. The timing of when to write an assignment will depend on the specific requirements of the course or program, but in general, assignments should be completed within the timeframe specified by the instructor or program guidelines.

It is important to begin working on assignments as soon as possible to ensure enough time for research, writing, and revisions. Waiting until the last minute can result in rushed work and lower quality output.

It is also important to prioritize assignments based on their due dates and the amount of work required. This will help to manage time effectively and ensure that all assignments are completed on time.

In addition to assignments given by instructors or professors, there may be other situations where writing an assignment is necessary. For example, in the workplace, assignments may be given to complete a specific project or task. In these situations, it is important to establish clear deadlines and expectations to ensure that the assignment is completed on time and to a high standard.

Characteristics of Assignment

Here are some common characteristics of assignments:

  • Purpose : Assignments have a specific purpose, such as assessing knowledge or developing skills. They are designed to help students learn and achieve specific learning objectives.
  • Requirements: Assignments have specific requirements that must be met, such as a word count, format, or specific content. These requirements are usually provided by the instructor or professor.
  • Deadline: Assignments have a specific deadline for completion, which is usually set by the instructor or professor. It is important to meet the deadline to avoid penalties or lower grades.
  • Individual or group work: Assignments can be completed individually or as part of a group. Group assignments may require collaboration and communication with other group members.
  • Feedback : Assignments provide an opportunity for feedback from the instructor or professor. This feedback can help students to identify areas of improvement and to develop their skills.
  • Academic integrity: Assignments require academic integrity, which means that students must submit original work and avoid plagiarism. This includes citing sources properly and following ethical guidelines.
  • Learning outcomes : Assignments are designed to help students achieve specific learning outcomes. These outcomes are usually related to the course objectives and may include developing critical thinking skills, writing abilities, or subject-specific knowledge.

Advantages of Assignment

There are several advantages of assignment, including:

  • Helps in learning: Assignments help students to reinforce their learning and understanding of a particular topic. By completing assignments, students get to apply the concepts learned in class, which helps them to better understand and retain the information.
  • Develops critical thinking skills: Assignments often require students to think critically and analyze information in order to come up with a solution or answer. This helps to develop their critical thinking skills, which are important for success in many areas of life.
  • Encourages creativity: Assignments that require students to create something, such as a piece of writing or a project, can encourage creativity and innovation. This can help students to develop new ideas and perspectives, which can be beneficial in many areas of life.
  • Builds time-management skills: Assignments often come with deadlines, which can help students to develop time-management skills. Learning how to manage time effectively is an important skill that can help students to succeed in many areas of life.
  • Provides feedback: Assignments provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback on their work. This feedback can help students to identify areas where they need to improve and can help them to grow and develop.

Limitations of Assignment

There are also some limitations of assignments that should be considered, including:

  • Limited scope: Assignments are often limited in scope, and may not provide a comprehensive understanding of a particular topic. They may only cover a specific aspect of a topic, and may not provide a full picture of the subject matter.
  • Lack of engagement: Some assignments may not engage students in the learning process, particularly if they are repetitive or not challenging enough. This can lead to a lack of motivation and interest in the subject matter.
  • Time-consuming: Assignments can be time-consuming, particularly if they require a lot of research or writing. This can be a disadvantage for students who have other commitments, such as work or extracurricular activities.
  • Unreliable assessment: The assessment of assignments can be subjective and may not always accurately reflect a student’s understanding or abilities. The grading may be influenced by factors such as the instructor’s personal biases or the student’s writing style.
  • Lack of feedback : Although assignments can provide feedback, this feedback may not always be detailed or useful. Instructors may not have the time or resources to provide detailed feedback on every assignment, which can limit the value of the feedback that students receive.

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like

Research Paper Conclusion

Research Paper Conclusion – Writing Guide and...


Appendices – Writing Guide, Types and Examples

Research Report

Research Report – Example, Writing Guide and...


Delimitations in Research – Types, Examples and...

Scope of the Research

Scope of the Research – Writing Guide and...

Research Contribution

Research Contribution – Thesis Guide

Creating an Assignment Group

Knowledge Base > User Guides > Projects > Creating an Assignment Group

Last Updated: 2 years ago in  User Guides ,  Projects

A project’s workflow is comprised of Assignments. These assignments are the individual tasks which are required to complete a project. In order for a project to have its own unique workflow, an Assignment Group must be established.

To begin by accessing the Project Assignment Groups dialogue, go to Setup > Projects > Project Assignment Groups.

group of assignment

If your Project Definition has not been created yet, click Create and enter a Description. Note that none of the settings for the actual Project Definition have been configured yet, and you will need to set this up afterwards. The Delete button will delete the currently selected project definition. Clicking Edit will allow you to edit the current project definition’s name.

To configure your Assignment Group, use the Add button to move assignments from the Available Assignment Descriptions to the Chosen Assignment Descriptions. The order of the Chosen Assignment Descriptions is the order which the assignments will appear on your project. To reorder them, use the arrows to the right of the Chosen Assignment Descriptions list.

If you wish to include a checklist which is specifically related to the currently selected assignment, click on the Checklist to the right of the Chosen Assignment Descriptions list.

group of assignment

To build a checklist for your assignment, you will first need to add Checklist Items. To do this, click on the ellipsis button below the Available Checklist Items list. This will open the Checklist Items window.

group of assignment

Add a new checklist item by clicking the Add button. Then, name your checklist item and click OK to save it.

Once you have added your checklist item(s), click OK to return to the Checklist Items for your assignment. Your new items will now show up in the Available Checklist Items field. These can be assigned to your project definition by clicking Add. If you need to reorder the list, use the arrows to the right of the Chosen Checklist Items field.

Click Close to save these changes and return to the Project Assignment Groups window. This checklist will now be added to this assignment whenever it is created for this project.

If you need to add new Project Assignments or edit existing ones, click on the ellipsis button below the Available Assignment Descriptions list.

group of assignment

When you have finished your Project Assignment Group, you can also use this list on other projects. Use the Copy To… button to copy this list to other project definitions. Note that assignment checklists will not be copied to the other definitions.


  • What is an Assignment?
  • What is a Project? 

OfficeTools Workspace

Accounting practice management complete with tax integration

Request a Demo

Not sure where to start?

Try the Product Finder Or give us a call: 800-726-3339

Random Team Generator:

How to create randomized groups.

Enter each item on a new line, choose the amount of groups unders settings, and click the button to generate your randomized list. Don't like the first team? Just click again until you do.

Fairly pick teams without bias. No need to draw names out of a hat. No need to do a grade school style draft or put hours of thought into the most balanced teams. The most fair dividing method possible is random.

Mix up your to-do list by generating random groups out of them. For example, enter all your housecleaning activities and split them into seven groups, one for each day or one for each person.

Want something similar?

Use the list randomizer if you don't want separate groups or use the random name picker to pull a single name.

Instructure Logo

You're signed out

Sign in to ask questions, follow content, and engage with the Community

  • Canvas Instructor
  • Instructor Guide

How do I create rules for an assignment group?

  • Subscribe to RSS Feed
  • Printer Friendly Page
  • Report Inappropriate Content

in Instructor Guide

Note: You can only embed guides in Canvas courses. Embedding on other sites is not supported.

Community Help

View our top guides and resources:.

To participate in the Instructurer Community, you need to sign up or log in:

Paraphrasing Unit 3 Images of Beauty-Group Assignment

  • Tables and Views for Procurement


This table holds Supplier Site Assignments information which is loaded by the user for import.

Schema: FUSION

Object owner: POZ

Object type: TABLE

Tablespace: INTERFACE

Primary Key

  • Newsletters
  • Account Activating this button will toggle the display of additional content Account Sign out

The Loss of Things I Took for Granted

Ten years into my college teaching career, students stopped being able to read effectively..

Recent years have seen successive waves of book bans in Republican-controlled states, aimed at pulling any text with “woke” themes from classrooms and library shelves. Though the results sometimes seem farcical, as with the banning of Art Spiegelman’s Maus due to its inclusion of “cuss words” and explicit rodent nudity, the book-banning agenda is no laughing matter. Motivated by bigotry, it has already done demonstrable harm and promises to do more. But at the same time, the appropriate response is, in principle, simple. Named individuals have advanced explicit policies with clear goals and outcomes, and we can replace those individuals with people who want to reverse those policies. That is already beginning to happen in many places, and I hope those successes will continue until every banned book is restored.

If and when that happens, however, we will not be able to declare victory quite yet. Defeating the open conspiracy to deprive students of physical access to books will do little to counteract the more diffuse confluence of forces that are depriving students of the skills needed to meaningfully engage with those books in the first place. As a college educator, I am confronted daily with the results of that conspiracy-without-conspirators. I have been teaching in small liberal arts colleges for over 15 years now, and in the past five years, it’s as though someone flipped a switch. For most of my career, I assigned around 30 pages of reading per class meeting as a baseline expectation—sometimes scaling up for purely expository readings or pulling back for more difficult texts. (No human being can read 30 pages of Hegel in one sitting, for example.) Now students are intimidated by anything over 10 pages and seem to walk away from readings of as little as 20 pages with no real understanding. Even smart and motivated students struggle to do more with written texts than extract decontextualized take-aways. Considerable class time is taken up simply establishing what happened in a story or the basic steps of an argument—skills I used to be able to take for granted.

Since this development very directly affects my ability to do my job as I understand it, I talk about it a lot. And when I talk about it with nonacademics, certain predictable responses inevitably arise, all questioning the reality of the trend I describe. Hasn’t every generation felt that the younger cohort is going to hell in a handbasket? Haven’t professors always complained that educators at earlier levels are not adequately equipping their students? And haven’t students from time immemorial skipped the readings?

The response of my fellow academics, however, reassures me that I’m not simply indulging in intergenerational grousing. Anecdotally, I have literally never met a professor who did not share my experience. Professors are also discussing the issue in academic trade publications , from a variety of perspectives. What we almost all seem to agree on is that we are facing new obstacles in structuring and delivering our courses, requiring us to ratchet down expectations in the face of a ratcheting down of preparation. Yes, there were always students who skipped the readings, but we are in new territory when even highly motivated honors students struggle to grasp the basic argument of a 20-page article. Yes, professors never feel satisfied that high school teachers have done enough, but not every generation of professors has had to deal with the fallout of No Child Left Behind and Common Core. Finally, yes, every generation thinks the younger generation is failing to make the grade— except for the current cohort of professors, who are by and large more invested in their students’ success and mental health and more responsive to student needs than any group of educators in human history. We are not complaining about our students. We are complaining about what has been taken from them.

If we ask what has caused this change, there are some obvious culprits. The first is the same thing that has taken away almost everyone’s ability to focus—the ubiquitous smartphone. Even as a career academic who studies the Quran in Arabic for fun, I have noticed my reading endurance flagging. I once found myself boasting at a faculty meeting that I had read through my entire hourlong train ride without looking at my phone. My colleagues agreed this was a major feat, one they had not achieved recently. Even if I rarely attain that high level of focus, though, I am able to “turn it on” when demanded, for instance to plow through a big novel during a holiday break. That’s because I was able to develop and practice those skills of extended concentration and attentive reading before the intervention of the smartphone. For children who were raised with smartphones, by contrast, that foundation is missing. It is probably no coincidence that the iPhone itself, originally released in 2007, is approaching college age, meaning that professors are increasingly dealing with students who would have become addicted to the dopamine hit of the omnipresent screen long before they were introduced to the more subtle pleasures of the page.

The second go-to explanation is the massive disruption of school closures during COVID-19. There is still some debate about the necessity of those measures, but what is not up for debate any longer is the very real learning loss that students suffered at every level. The impact will inevitably continue to be felt for the next decade or more, until the last cohort affected by the mass “pivot to online” finally graduates. I doubt that the pandemic closures were the decisive factor in themselves, however. Not only did the marked decline in reading resilience start before the pandemic, but the students I am seeing would have already been in high school during the school closures. Hence they would be better equipped to get something out of the online format and, more importantly, their basic reading competence would have already been established.

Less discussed than these broader cultural trends over which educators have little control are the major changes in reading pedagogy that have occurred in recent decades—some motivated by the ever-increasing demand to “teach to the test” and some by fads coming out of schools of education. In the latter category is the widely discussed decline in phonics education in favor of the “balanced literacy” approach advocated by education expert Lucy Calkins (who has more recently come to accept the need for more phonics instruction). I started to see the results of this ill-advised change several years ago, when students abruptly stopped attempting to sound out unfamiliar words and instead paused until they recognized the whole word as a unit. (In a recent class session, a smart, capable student was caught short by the word circumstances when reading a text out loud.) The result of this vibes-based literacy is that students never attain genuine fluency in reading. Even aside from the impact of smartphones, their experience of reading is constantly interrupted by their intentionally cultivated inability to process unfamiliar words.

For all the flaws of the balanced literacy method, it was presumably implemented by people who thought it would help. It is hard to see a similar motivation in the growing trend toward assigning students only the kind of short passages that can be included in a standardized test. Due in part to changes driven by the infamous Common Core standards , teachers now have to fight to assign their students longer readings, much less entire books, because those activities won’t feed directly into students getting higher test scores, which leads to schools getting more funding. The emphasis on standardized tests was always a distraction at best, but we have reached the point where it is actively cannibalizing students’ educational experience—an outcome no one intended or planned, and for which there is no possible justification.

We can’t go back in time and do the pandemic differently at this point, nor is there any realistic path to putting the smartphone genie back in the bottle. (Though I will note that we as a society do at least attempt to keep other addictive products out of the hands of children.) But I have to think that we can, at the very least, stop actively preventing young people from developing the ability to follow extended narratives and arguments in the classroom. Regardless of their profession or ultimate educational level, they will need those skills. The world is a complicated place. People—their histories and identities, their institutions and work processes, their fears and desires—are simply too complex to be captured in a worksheet with a paragraph and some reading comprehension questions. Large-scale prose writing is the best medium we have for capturing that complexity, and the education system should not be in the business of keeping students from learning how to engage effectively with it.

This is a matter not of snobbery, but of basic justice. I recognize that not everyone centers their lives on books as much as a humanities professor does. I think they’re missing out, but they’re adults and they can choose how to spend their time. What’s happening with the current generation is not that they are simply choosing TikTok over Jane Austen. They are being deprived of the ability to choose—for no real reason or benefit. We can and must stop perpetrating this crime on our young people.

comscore beacon


  1. Group of Young Students Doing Assignment Stock Photo

    group of assignment

  2. Group study for school assignment stock photo (125619)

    group of assignment

  3. Tips for working in a Group Assignment

    group of assignment

  4. Tips for an effective start to group assignments

    group of assignment

  5. Group Assignment Tips: Secrets From Silicon Valley

    group of assignment

  6. Group of Students Doing School Assignment in Classroom Stock Image

    group of assignment


  1. Group Presentation Comms 2023

  2. Me helping the group do the school assignment 😂


  4. Group Assignment Presentation -Sociology

  5. FIN420 Group Assignment Video Presentation BA2321B

  6. Group Assignment SMS3013 Introductory Statistic


  1. Group Work

    Cambridge, MA 02138. [email protected]. p: 617.495.4869. Join Our Email List. Many students have had little experience working in groups in an academic setting. While there are many excellent books and articles describing group processes, this guide is intended to be short and simply written for students who are working in groups, but ...

  2. Create group assignments or assign to individual students

    Select Create groups. Edit the default group name, if desired. Type in the search box to pull up student names, or scroll. Select the checkboxes next to the students you want to add to this group. Select Create. When you're done, select + New group and repeat Steps 2 and 3 until all students have been assigned to a group.

  3. Ideas for Great Group Work

    Home Blog Ideas for Great Group Work October 11, 2016 Many students, particularly if they are new to college, don't like group assignments and projects. They might say they "work better by themselves" and be wary of irresponsible members of their group dragging down their grade.

  4. What are the benefits of group work?

    Benefits for instructors Faculty can often assign more complex, authentic problems to groups of students than they could to individuals. Group work also introduces more unpredictability in teaching, since groups may approach tasks and solve problems in novel, interesting ways. This can be refreshing for instructors.

  5. What are best practices for designing group projects?

    What is true for individual assignments holds true for group assignments: it is important to clearly articulate your objectives, explicitly define the task, clarify your expectations, model high-quality work, and communicate performance criteria. But group work has complexities above and beyond individual work.

  6. Design a group assignment

    Design a group assignment. This resource offers suggestions for designing group assignments which students will finding motivating. We'll explore how to make the assignment meaningful, easily allocated into sub-tasks, relevant to learning outcomes and achievable. One of the most crucial aspects of group work is the task set for the group. If ...

  7. Getting Started with Designing Group Work Assignments

    Getting Started with Designing Group Work Assignments Engaging Students First, think about the course learning outcomes and how group work might address them. Then consider how groups will be organized, how student learning and group processes will be supported, and how students will be evaluated, if at all.

  8. Group Work: Design Guidelines

    Random and teacher-selected group assignments avoid cliques and ensure that students interact with different classmates throughout the semester. Once you know your students fairly well, teacher selection can be useful for grouping students. Consider selecting groups or pairs with varying strengths and skill levels, since research has shown that ...

  9. Are group assignments effective pedagogy or a waste of time? A review

    Group assignments are a near-universal feature of classrooms around the world. They are broadly viewed as more effective than passive forms of learning and are assumed to position students for success in fields that demand high levels of interpersonal communication, like public affairs. But does research support that view?

  10. Create group assignments or assign to individual students

    Type in the search box to pull up student names, or scroll. Select the checkboxes next to the students you want to add to this group. Select Create. When you're done, select + New group and repeat Steps 2 and 3 until all students have been assigned to a group. Review the groups you've created. Select Edit to change group names or members.

  11. Create a group assignment

    A group assignment is collaborative coursework for groups of students on GitHub Classroom. Students can work together on a group assignment in a shared repository, like a team of professional developers. When a student accepts a group assignment, the student can create a new team or join an existing team. GitHub Classroom saves the teams for an ...

  12. What are the challenges of group work and how can I address them?

    Allocating time: While group assignments may save instructors time in some areas (e.g., grading final projects), they may add time in other areas (e.g., time needed up front to identify appropriate project topics, contact external clients, compose student groups; time during the semester to meet with and monitor student groups; time at the end ...

  13. Understanding Assignments

    Basic beginnings Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well: Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later.

  14. Example Group Assignments

    Example Group Assignments. Divide students into teams, designating one student as a leader. Have the students apply course concepts to solving a problem and report back to the class. Other groups or students are encouraged to comment on the final solutions of other teams.2. Students complete an assignment that will be assessed by their peers.

  15. How do I assign an assignment to a course group?

    - Instructure Community - 633 How do I assign an assignment to a course group? You can create a group assignment by using the Group Assignment checkbox. Canvas uses group sets to assign group assignments, and each group within the group set that is assigned to the assignment is required to complete the assignment.

  16. How do I submit an assignment on behalf of a group?

    A group assignment is a way for instructors to allow students to work together on an assignment and submit it as a group. Only one group member needs to submit the assignment on behalf of the group. Any attachments added as part of a graded assignment submission are also copied to your group files but are not counted against your user quota.

  17. Create Group Assignments

    You create a group assignment nearly the same way you create assignments for students to complete individually. Gradebook items are created automatically. If students with accommodations are in a group, all students in that group inherit the accommodation for that item.

  18. Tips for working in a Group Assignment

    According to teachers and experts, group assignments are considered to be the most effective means for learning that have been instituted by many educational organizations in the spirit of infusing teamwork among students.

  19. Assignment

    Deadline: Assignments have a specific deadline for completion, which is usually set by the instructor or professor. It is important to meet the deadline to avoid penalties or lower grades. Individual or group work: Assignments can be completed individually or as part of a group. Group assignments may require collaboration and communication with ...

  20. PDF Group Assignments as a Class Element to Promote Performance in ...

    effective work within virtual teams, by examining performance on a final assignment of a business case. The findings are that students who have at least a medium exposure (three) to group assignments performed significantly better on the business case and cost risk benefit analysis then students with no group assignments prior to the business case.

  21. Creating an Assignment Group

    OVERVIEW A project's workflow is comprised of Assignments. These assignments are the individual tasks which are required to complete a project. In order for a project to have its own unique workflow, an Assignment Group must be established. USER GUIDE To begin by accessing the Project Assignment Groups dialogue, go to Setup > Projects >

  22. Random Team Generator

    Use the list randomizer if you don't want separate groups or use the random name picker to pull a single name. or just create your own list. Paste your list and we'll randomly separate it into groups. You can specify as many groups as you need. Easily generate random teams or random groups.

  23. Unit 9 Group Assignment.docx

    1 Schedule Compression and Resource Leveling Unit 9 Group Assignment Team 2: Loudspeakers Choudhary Hanjra, Esra Karaaslan, Hao Li, Mingzhao Lin, Catherine Kattikat Peter, and Sai Shashank Principles of Project Management Professor James Souders January 2

  24. How do I create rules for an assignment group?

    Create Rules For each Assignment Group, you can create one of three grading rules: Drop (ignore) the lowest x scores for each student [1]. Drop (ignore) the highest x scores for each student [2]. Never drop a specific assignment [3]. Drop Lowest Score To drop a certain number of lowest scores, enter the number in the Lowest Scores field.

  25. Paraphrasing Unit 3 Images of Beauty-Group Assignment

    ESL 272/472 Paraphrasing Assignment for Unit 3 "Images of Beauty" Directions: As a group, paraphrase the following quotes from "Images of Beauty" in Unit 3, which contain some of the most important ideas of the reading. Remember that you should understand the entire sentence and use several strategies to avoid plagiarism. Also remember that the paraphrase should make sense, be grammatical, and ...


    ASSIGNMENT_INTERFACE_ID: NUMBER: 18: Yes: Assignment interface identifier: BATCH_ID: VARCHAR2: 200: An optional identifier, if provided while sched uling an import process is used to identify which interface table records will b e picked up for processing. VENDOR_SITE_INTERFACE_ID: NUMBER: 18: Identifier for Vender Site. REQUEST_SOURCE ...

  27. Literacy crisis in college students: Essay from a professor on students

    The result of this vibes-based literacy is that students never attain genuine fluency in reading. Even aside from the impact of smartphones, their experience of reading is constantly interrupted ...

  28. Solved: External Number Assignment for Batch

    There is a BADI External Batch Number Range Selection (LOBM_EXT_BATCH_NR_RANGE_SELECT) You can use BAdI External Batch Number Range Selection. to suppress checking externally provided batch numbers, to specify which number range (defined by object, sub-object and interval) is used for the number check. Please check if this helps you with your ...