Empowering teachers and students for group work success
Team-based learning has been shown to improve test scores, engagement, and excitement about learning (Cohen and Lotan, 2014; Sibley and Ostafichuk, 2014) and collaboration is an essential skill for knowledge workers. Yet most students graduate high school and even college having never been explicitly taught how to align individual and group goals, manage conflict, and other skills essential to team work in their future academic and professional lives. Teachers often avoid team-based learning because managing group formation, conflict, assessment, and evaluation are challenging and time consuming.
ToGetThere is a centralized digital repository of interventions and activities designed to help teachers and students learn, perform, and reflect in group work. It also serves as an online community of practice designed to promote sharing and learning between teachers, researchers, and students.
About the Site
Tuckman's model of small group development (1965, 1977) suggests that groups go through five stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. While not without critique, this model has endured for more than 50 years because it is relatable and memorable. In thinking about ways to structure the activities contained within this site, we quickly settled on Tuckman's model for the same reasons. We hope you will find this site – and the activities it contains – to be relatable to your experience as a teacher and student, and that its contents to be memorable and useful in your classroom.
We build on Tuckman's model by adding a sixth stage – expressed as a continuum – reflection. We believe reflection is a key component of learning. While some group projects incoroporate this kind of metacognative work about the content of the assignment, in our research we found that only in the most rare of circumstances do students have an opportunity to reflect on the experience of collaboration. We have designed experiences, activities, and interactive reflection forms that allow both students and teachers to think about this critical question – and to learn from their own insights about teamwork. Click here to see a sample reflection curriculum.
Jesse Harris is an educational technology leader and designer with more than 10 years experience in corporate learning & development, technology design, and higher education.
Jesse earned a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology summa cum laude from the University of Texas at San Antonio Honors College and was accredited as a Senior Professional in Human Resources in 2009. He is a graduate student in the Stanford Graduate School of Education’s Learning, Design, and Technology program, studying collaboration, teamwork and learning design.
After graduating from Williams College with a double major in Mathematics and Psychology, Laura worked at CITYterm for three years. CITYterm is an intensive, experience-based residential semester program for 30 intellectually adventuresome 11th and 12th graders that engages students in an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on New York City.
After experimenting with the flipped classroom model, she followed my interest in education technology to Stanford University to pursue a Masters in Learning, Design and Technology.