Group Work & Student-to-Student Interaction in Online and Hybrid Courses

When PSU students were polled about their courses during these COVID semesters, many of them noted that their online and hybrid classes were doing less collaborative, interactive, and group work than they were accustomed to at PSU. The CoLab asked some faculty to share easy ideas with their colleagues about successful tools and tactics they used in online/hybrid environments to increase student-to-student engagement.

Here are some short videos that will inspire you to find ways to help your students connect online with each other and your material.

photo of Katie Wolsiefer
Dr. Katie Wolsiefer shares her advice

  • Denise Hutchins (Business) talks about using Microsoft Teams for discussion boards and student engagement including drafts and feedback.
  • Cathie LeBlanc (Communication & Media Studies) talks about using Teams to facilitate group work for students.Brigid O’Donnell (Biology) shares her experience using Hypothesis with her classes, for social annotation of digital and online documents.
  • Katie Wolsiefer (Psychology) gives three great tips: how to orient students in online engagement; giving low-stakes pre-work to stimulate group work; and a breakout room hack using Google Docs.
  • Abby Goode (English) also offers three tips: student feedback-based primers as a discussion tool; PBL and student leadership of classes; and integrating self-assessment across your course.
  • Lis Rosencrum (Athletic Training & Allied Health Sciences) describes a breakout”speed-dating” activity.
  • Robin DeRosa (CoLab Director) shares a resource on how to make zoom breakout rooms less boring.PSU reminds our faculty that collaboration, connection, and group work can be facilitated in online spaces.

Start with these videos, and add your own if you have ideas to share with your colleagues! If you need support, make an appointment with our team anytime!

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