Making group work productive

Here are some practitioner-focued reading on how to make group work productive in math class.

Overview. This summarizes the state of the research on collaborative learning in college math. In terms of practical guidelines, Kung identifies six features that help to make group work productive: 1. Group-worthy tasks, 2. Positive interdependence, 3. Individual accountability, 4. Positive interactions, 5. Social skills, and 6. Group processing.

Further reading. These readings discuss the six features in more depth. They are drawn from three books: 

https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Cooperative-Learning-Collegiate-Mathematics/dp/0883850958 https://www.amazon.com/Strength-Numbers-Collaborative-Secondary-Mathematics/dp/0873536630/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485098393&sr=1-1https://www.amazon.com/Readings-Cooperative-Learning-Undergraduate-Mathematics/dp/0883851539/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485098484&sr=1-2-spell

Note that these books are meant to be read by practitioners: folks like us who teach math. They draw on and summarize scientific studies, but they are not scientific papers. I would be happy to share the scientific research on which they are based if you're interested.

  • Hagelgans et al. - How do we test our students? Positive interdependence, individual accountability
  • Hagelgans et al. - How might a group function? Social skills, group processing
  • Horn - Group-worthy tasks. Group-worthy tasks
  • Horn - Fostering positive interdependence. Positive interdependence, individual accountability, positive interactions
  • Johnson & Johnson - Social skills for successful group work. Social skills