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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Team projects

Team projects

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I have worked with my students on different short projects such as research, building a presentation or group writing. The difficulty I have with that type of exercise is that it seems hard to get everybody involved. How do you get all your students involved when working on a project?

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Lisa Dabbs's picture
Lisa Dabbs
Edu Consultant. Blogger & Social Media Marketing at Edutopia

Hi All,

Anyone have any good ideas to offer Celine?
Let's support our group members!


John Steltz's picture
John Steltz
High School English/Language Arts Teacher of Students, Wisconsin

Assign Roles within the group. I have also created competition between groups as motivation to create 'the best' possible product/project/presentation

Leslie K Maniotes's picture

Give them options and choice on topics. Give them time to choose their own slant so it is most interesting to them...this does take time for them to develop though, but taking time in the beginning to do this is worth it when you have a class full of engaged learners rather than a few rreally engaged and some, not so much....
just my 2 cents!
good luck!

Marisa Pavan's picture
Marisa Pavan
Teacher of English, English/Spanish-Spanish/English translator/interpreter

I believe one of the most practical ways of involving all the members of a group is to deliver roles: a role for each of them. In that way, each of the members of the group must do something.
Good luck,

Marisa's picture

I believe one of the most practical ways of involving all the members of a group is to deliver roles: a role for each of them. In that way, each of the members of the group must do something.
Good luck,

Mimi Jones's picture

I, too assign various roles within the group, and sometimes I let the students decide what the roles will be (they just have to let me know what those roles will be)

The competition between groups, always help, but I very often have a peer evaluation as part of their grade on the project. I ask students to fill out a survey (on Quia, or surveymonkey) and rate their partners, + include comments for improvement. This seems to be better perceived than teacher eval.

Also the use of tools such as wiki, and etherpad (piratepad, typewithme etc.) facilitates my job as to check the level of involvement, since you can have color coded input.. Let's me who did what and how much

Alexandra Francisco's picture

Hi Celine,

Personally speaking, I keep the groups small- no more than 4 students per group - I specify exactly what they are meant to be doing and they in turn divide the tasks among them, informing me of who is doing what. I also create rubrics for both teacher and peer assessment- with RubiStar it's very quickly to do this -, which makes it easy for both them and me to keep track of the work they are doing.
Last but not least even for research I usually use a web2.0 tool that makes the presentation of the project appealing to them - like GoAnimate or any other tool that will help me reach my lesson aims.

Alex Francisco

Celine Mazoyer's picture
Celine Mazoyer
French teacher

Thank you everybody for sharing your ideas. It is true that the tools used to support the project is important. It makes it more attractive to the students. Assigning roles to students is a great idea. I will work more on that when getting project topics ready and I will try to give them some choice.

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