Using Group Work to Promote Deep Learning

We all have the same goal in mind.

While we want our students to perform well on exams, what we really want is bigger and better than that.

We want our students to really:

  • Understand the material we teach
  • Be able to readily access and rely on it in future courses, in their careers, and in life itself.

But deep learning doesn’t have to be elusive.

In fact, cooperative learning offers instructors many tools to use in course design and in teaching strategy to better promote deep learning. Cooperative learning approaches can actually turn group work—what was once a frustrating exercise for instructors and students alike—into a powerful way to reinforce course concepts and promote understanding.

You can learn how by watching Using Group Work to Promote Deep Learning. This 60-minute online seminar explains how to revise your course design to include out-of-class independent learning activities as well as in-class teamwork to improve comprehension and overall student learning in any subject, discipline, or course.

The first step is to review the cooperative learning principles that support deep learning through group work. These principles encourage instructors to:

  • Use tightly structured courses and assignments
  • Focus on problem solving during out-of-class and in-class assignments and activities
  • Use heterogeneous, teacher-selected groups (students must not self-select their work groups)
  • Promote positive interdependence
  • Foster individual accountability within group assignments and activities
  • Use group activities to process out-of-class learning
  • Pay attention to and promote leadership skills in all students

During the online seminar on CD, presenter Dr. Barbara Millis demonstrates how group work, when designed according to these principles, actually improves not only student performance, but also course satisfaction.

Dr. Millis is the director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She frequently leads workshops for conferences and individual colleges and universities, and she publishes widely on cooperative learning, deep learning, and other faculty development topics. Millis is the co-author or editor of four books and is the executive editor for College Teaching. She has also served on the Core Committee of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education.

Millis shows how you can incorporate in-class activities and teamwork to improve your students’ academic outcomes in Using Group Work to Promote Deep Learning. When you finish viewing this seminar, you will know how to:

  • Incorporate out-of-class learning into course design
  • Use discussions and student-centered activities during class to help students process their out-of-class learning
  • Implement cooperative learning principles and practices, including classroom management techniques
  • Actively involve students in the learning process


Get answers to your questions about group work

Here are just some of the questions answered in this seminar:

Q: What do faculty often get wrong in using group work in their courses?

Q: What are the principles of cooperative learning, and how can they be used to improve group work?

Q: How do you get students interested in working in groups?

Q: What are some suggestions on using group work in conjunction with a flipped classroom design?

Who will benefit:

  • Faculty members and instructors
  • Faculty development staff
  • Department chairs
  • Administrators

Get the recording of this seminar on CD or on-demand! Both include the complete transcript and all supplemental materials.

An optional Campus Access License is available for an additional $200. It allows the purchasing institution to upload the CD of the seminar onto the institution’s password-protected internal website for unlimited access by the entire campus community.


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