Snapshot: A simple activity to encourage group work and build up a 'blended approach' to teaching and learning.
This is a simple exercise which requires little intervention from the teacher but can help to encourage members of a group to work together and link what they do online to the face to face element of your course:
1. Identify a range of useful weblinks related to aspects of a topic which you are currently covering in your module.
2. Give each group 2 or 3 links - you may already have groups set up on your module (if not, see the attachment below 'How to set up Groups in Weblearn')
3. Ask each group to evaluate each of the links for reliability as a source, and to synthesise the key information from the links.
4. Use the group Blog or Discussion Forum and ask each group to post a summary of what they've found.
5. Next time you meet in a face to face situation, have each group informally present a summary of what they've found from their set of web links.
This can be a simple, but effective, way to link research students do outside a face to face setting to what they do when they are together in a seminar or workshop. Use the Groups tool to provide a space for them to communicate and collaborate and to evidence their participation in the exercise.
For information on how to create and manage groups in Weblearn see Using Groups in Weblearn.
There's more than one way to skin a cat...
This is just one idea for how you might combine what you ask your students to do online (evidenced through Weblearn groups in this case) and what you do in a face to face context. In other words, Blended Learning. What other ways have you used Weblearn, or any other technology, to stimulate collaboration and group learning?
Got an idea? We'd love to hear it - why not use the Comments box below to share it...