Online Collaboration

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

The success of group work assignments can depend a lot on early encouragement and management of student-to-student interaction. The article “Strategies for effective group work in the online class” covers a number of steps that you can take to ensure your students start forming productive relationships, such as requiring student introductory discussions, establishing the groups and encouraging communication right at the beginning of the term, and providing clear expectations and instructions for group work.

The video below provides great insight on providing opportunities for group work and collaboration between students.

Now, it is important to remember as well that when we ask college students to work together that we are not merely asking STUDENTS to work together, but, given that many of our students are adults, we are asking ADULTS to collaborate. While this course does not focus on Andragogy (Adult Learning), it is important to keep this in mind.


Many of VCU’s online classes are managed through Blackboard, a Learning Management system (LMS), which you may have used already, or will use sometime in the future.  Blackboard offers a the ability to engage students in numerous ways;however, it falls on the instructor to create a student centered learning experience.  Here are two helpful links which offers ways to optimize Blackboard for the desired student learning experience:

Other Resources:

The articles below details some tips & tricks on quality collaboration in online courses:

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

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ALT Lab offers a number of facilitated courses in our  Certificate Program and through our series of Self-Paced courses. Please check out our website for more details or, for a custom professional development request, please contact us using this form.