I conducted a survey of more than five hundred teachers attempting learn what teachers struggle most with when it comes to assigning group work. The results were not too surprising.
When asked what frustrates them most about collaborative activities in the classroom, given the options of ‘assessing collaboration,’ ‘time management,’ ‘creating groups,’ ‘team accountability,’ and ‘constant off-task behavior,’ off-task behavior had nearly double the number of responses than all the other options.
Managing students and their time is clearly a shared struggle.
How do we foster a collaborative environment where students learn interdependence, relying on each other to complete tasks, as well as independence and managing their time, resources, challenges, and thinking without constant help from their teacher? How can the class be successful without the teacher doing all the work?