Design for Equitable Collaboration: I design collaborative group work that engages and stretches each learner, allowing them to demonstrate desired learning outcomes

Authentic Learning Strategy:

Strategically Group Learners for Collaborative Learning Experiences

NOTE: This strategy is part of the self-paced Spark Collaboration Course

When assigning group work you can assign groups to learners or allow them to choose their own groups. Research has shown motivation is higher when students select their own groups, and many students prefer this method. However, there are benefits to selecting groups: encourages learners to work with new people they don’t normally interact with, increases the diversity of thought, and strategically makes groups heterogeneous. When deciding on a grouping strategy, think about which will be the best for the goals of the group work and use a variety of different grouping strategies over time.

Bright Spots

Gain inspiration from authentic examples of this strategy shared by teachers who have used them with their learners.

Creating your own Bright Spots? Let’s get them out into the world! Share yours here.

TAG Protocol

An 8th-grade social studies teacher in Shaler Area, PA uses a random team generator to quickly assign student groups to create a timeline of events during the War of 1812. She wanted students who don’t often work together to get the chance to collaborate on a low-stakes task, so she opted to assign groups rather than let students choose.


Inspired? Use the resources below to bring this learner-centered strategy to your learning community.

📖 Read this article about different grouping strategies

📖 Read the research about the benefits of student choice in their groups

Want more?

If you found this helpful, try this related strategy:

Learn More in this Learner-Centered Course:

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