V-L-Easy! Day 7 – Groups

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As part of the countdown to the festive season, the VLE team and CPED are sharing their ideas for simple tools or techniques that can make life easier for lecturers and their students. Last week, we explored CollaborateAlly, Student Preview,  Grade Centre Smart Views, and Nureva Span. Yesterday, we revisited Course SitesToday, we explore a feature which may be a crucial part of your assessment design, but is also a quick and simple way to manage your assessment, marking and communication with students.

Groups

An important aspect of learning in higher education is working in groups.  Group work can improve critical thinking problem-solving, collaboration and communication skills.

Creating groups in Weblearn allows students to work on projects together, where they can communicate via group discussion boards and blogs or use other tools, such as Wiki’s, so  students can on collaboratively.

Groups in Weblearn are often used when there is a group assignment for students.  In such cases, a group is created which allows for the group to submit one assignment for the whole group.  When creating these groups, they are made visible to the students so they can see who else is in their group and collaborate accordingly.

Links to group videoHowever, groups can be created and utilised by staff as a student management tool, where students are unaware that the groups have been created. For example, groups can be created that match seminar classes, research partners, peer groups etc. Watch the video to find out more.

Below we list a number of beneficial uses for creating groups to manage students, especially during assessment.

  • Seminar classes – tutors can create groups that match their seminar classes. Therefore, when the group is chosen, only that subset of students get displayed in the Grade Centre. This allows tutors to quickly check the progress the students in their seminar class.
  • Marking (and Feedback) groups – when marking assignments, tutors can create groups to manage the marking process.  These groups can also be used for second, double and blind marking.
  • WebLearn Assignments – when marking anonymously in WebLearn, the delegate marking feature must be used. However, this feature cannot be implemented correctly before the relevant marking groups have been created.
  • Turnitin Assignments – there is a feature in WebLearn that allows you to see only the submissions from student groups.  Once again, the groups need to be created in advance of the marking for this feature to be used successfully.
  • Smart Views – once groups are generated, a Smart View link can be created, where-by the name of the group is included as one of the Grade Centre links.  Therefore, instead of accessing the groups feature, you can simply go to the Grade Centre and click on this Smart View.

For more information on creating groups you can view these support pages.

For a more detailed look at groups please contact vletraining@londonmet.ac.uk to arrange a support session.

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