Online Groups



On this page, I discuss some information helping in planning for online groups.


Group-based or team-based learning is a great pedagogical strategy to help facilitate online learning outcomes.  Groups can be used to facilitate several different learning strategies, such as brainstorming, discussions, debates, and project teams.

To get us started, here is a sample introduction of the group materials from our EdX course.  In this video I introduce to you the different groups handouts and the activity. Please listen.


Here you will find a few handouts as described in the video that will help you learn more about designing group activities. The first discusses different consideration in designing group activities and developing student groups.  The second is a checklist that can be used to plan or to evaluate your group activity.  The third will walk you through the process of developing a small group activity using backwards design.  Please review these materials and begin designing your online group activity using backwards design.


  • Handout 3: Activity | Designing a Small Group Activity using Backwards Design

Additional Resources:


Barkley, E., Major, C., Cross, P., Angelo, T. (2004). Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Huba, J., & Freed, M. (1999). Learner Centered Assessment on College Campuses. Pearson.


Michaelsen, L.K., Knight, A.B., & Fink, L. D. (2004.) Team-based learning: A transformative use of small group in college teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.


Palloff, R.M. & Pratt, K., (2004). Collaborating Online : Learning Together in Community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2000). Understanding by Design. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall