Collaborative Learning

Group Activities

Our research shows that students learn more and generally prefer to work with other students to complete in-class activities. We want to continue providing students with the opportunity to interact and collaborate with their peers during online and in-person lectures. In previous versions of this course, students completed class activities during lecture.

Students will complete group activities every Tuesday, either during lecture time at 12:30pm or at an additional time at 8pm.

Week 1: Mock group activity (GA0)

GAs will happen on Tuesdays starting from week 2. However, on week 1, we will have a mock GA on Thursday, to make sure all students are familar with this format of class activity. For the mock GA, we will only have class at 12:30pm (lecture time):

Students in the in-person section (N) will connect to GA room 1 to facilitate attendance collection. However, students can keep camera and audio off, since they will be communicating with each other in the classroom.

Week 2: GA1 (attendance not required)

UPDATE: As of Aug 30th, we will have both sections (M and N) meeting online via Zoom. We will revise this decision in a couple of weeks, when section N may be back at CIF 35. Announcements will be posted on CampusWire. Check post #27 for more information on this.

Starting from Week 3: required attendance

The following links will be used for the GAs starting from week 3. Check your assigned group and breakout room using the PrairieLearn Survey 2: Find out your assigned group FOR GA2-GA7 (not for credit).

For GA0 and GA1 (weeks 1 and 2), we will randomly assign students to breakout rooms in groups of 3-4 students. Attendance is not required. We will form fixed groups starting from week 3.

Group formation:

Students will be able to select their own groups, under the constraint that each group should have 3-4 students. We will open a survey on Thursday August 26 that will ask students to submit their group selection, and also their preferred time to meet (students in the online section can select between 12:30pm or 8pm). This survey will be closed on Friday September 3rd at midnight. In case you don't know anyone in the class, you will have the opportunity to meet other students during GA0 and GA1, when we randomly place students in groups. You can also use CampusWire to find teammates.

Students that are not included in any group after the survey is closed will be randomly placed at a group. Make sure to at least submit your preferred time to meet. Otherwise, the default time will be the lecture time at 12:30pm.

Starting from week 3, students will be assigned to breakout rooms using the pre-defined groups. The groups will be fixed from weeks 3-8 (corresponding GA2-GA7) and then again from weeks 9-15 (GA8-13), with the option that groups can elect to stay the same for both cycles.

PrairieLearn group assignments:

Students in each group will work together to complete an assignment delivered using a combination of PrairieLearn and Jupyter notebooks. The assignment (and corresponding) score is shared among all the members of the group that attended the zoom meeting.

The score for the GA will be computed based on attendance, completion and participation.

Completion (7% of the grade):

This is the PrairieLearn score you get from completing your GA assessment. You will be able to see this score in PrairieLearn under the label GA#, given in percent (0-100%). The lowest 2 scores will be dropped (out of the 12 GAs that count for points).

Attendance (2% of the grade):

We will be collecting attendance using the Zoom report. In order to get the attendance points, students need to be in their assigned zoom meeting for at least 45 minutes. We will be computing the attendance score only at the end of the semester. Students that attend 10 GAs or more will get 100% for attendance. Students that attend less than 10 GAs will receive 0% for attendance score.

Participation (2% of the grade):

Students in each group will have assigned roles to facilitate collaborations. You are expected to be a helpful member of your team and participate in a variety of team roles. There are three team roles: manager, recorder, and reflector.

  1. Recorder: Responsible for being the main “driver,” entering most of the answers in PrairieLearn. However, other members of the team can also contribute by completing some of the notebook cells. The recorder is also expected to share their screen during the zoom meeting. This will help facilitating the discussions, and also provide a venue for staff members (that will be rotating between rooms) to interact with the teams.
  2. Manager: Responsible for coordinating efforts of the team and making sure that all team members are contributing. For example, if a team member is silent for a while, it is the manager’s role to check in on the team member. The manager needs to make sure members of the team are working together to construct their answers. This is NOT a divide-and-conquer activity! The manager will also be the one to first create the PrairieLearn assessment, and share the "Join code" with the other members of the team. The manager is responsible for completing the survey regarding the role assignments for that week.
  3. Reflector: Responsible for making sure that all team members understand what’s going on. For example, the reflector might ask whether each team member understands the problem before moving on to the next problem. The reflector is responsible for completing a short survey at the end of each group assessment, including questions about team participation and the content of the activity.

During each cycle (half-semesters with fixed groups), students are expected to participate in each of the group roles at least once, and teams are encouraged to rotate these roles each week. At the end of each cycle, students will receive the following score via compass2g:

cycle# = (manager_participation + recorder_participation + reflector_participation)/3

where role_participation is 100% if the student participated in that role during the cycle, and 0% otherwise. There will be a total of 2 scores for participation (two cycles), and no drops. They will combined contribute to 2% of your final grade.