The Student Guide to Group Work is a project of York University’s Learning Commons. The project was developed collaboratively by York University Libraries, Career Education & Development, the ESL Open Learning Center, Learning Skills Services, the Teaching Commons, and the Writing Department.
What Students Need to Know
You can use the The Student Guide to Group Work to get your group work project off on the right foot by learning about the fundamentals of group work. Consult our introductory video and our three modules covering different aspects of effective group work: (1) Understanding the Team, (2) Communicating Effectively, and (3) Planning the Project. Each module contains a short video and a section titled Tips, Tools & Templates offering practical tips and downloadable checklists, activities, templates and more to help you engage in effective group work as part of coursework in a university context.
What Faculty/Instructors Need to Know
We hope you'll consider using this guide in courses where you assign group projects. This guide covers the fundamentals of group work. By using this guide, your students should grow in confidence and ability to engage in effective and productive group work. You can use the Student Guide to Group Work in its entirety or opt to select specific components that best fit your learning goals to support group projects you are assigning.
Contributors & Acknowledgements
Steering Committee: Sophie Bury (Project Lead, York University Libraries), Hannah Anderson (Professional Writing student, Writing Department), Marlene Bernholtz (Writing Department), Cathy Boyd-Withers (Learning Skills Services), Sarah Coysh (York University Libraries), Lisa Endersby (Teaching Commons), Betty Irving (York University Libraries), Genny Jon (York University Libraries), Jacqueline Ng (ESL Open Learning Center), and Carolyn Steele (Career Centre).
Video Creation: Hannah Anderson (Professional Writing student, Writing Department)
Web site Development: Genny Jon, Ali Sadaqain and Tuan Nguyen (York University Libraries)
Writers (including video story boards and web site content): Hannah Anderson (Professional Writing student, Writing Department), Marlene Bernholtz (Writing Department), Sophie Bury (York University Libraries), Cathy Boyd-Withers (Learning Skills Services), Sarah Coysh (York University Libraries), Lisa Endersby (Teaching Commons), Jacqueline Ng (ESL Open Learning Center), and Carolyn Steele (Career Centre).
The Steering Committee would also like acknowledge the following individuals:
- Stephanie Bell at the Writing Department and former member of the Learning Commons Steering Committee, who was the first proponent of the Learning Commons adopting a new focus to develop student-facing programming and resources to support collaborative learning and group work
- Lisa Brown and Christine Sinclair (Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, York University)
- Dana Craig, Kalina Grewal, Kris Joseph, Stephanie Quail, Tom Scott, and Anna St. Onge (Librarians with York University Libraries)
- The Peer Mentors assigned to the Teaching Commons for feedback in testing phases
- The many York students who gave us feedback in surveys and testing which informed the content and design
Licensing of this Resource
Unless otherwise noted, all resources in this guide are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
In building this resource we link to or adapt creative commons resources from other sites, as well as creating our own content. We would like to acknowledge the inspiration we drew from the creative commons resources featured in the Chapman Learning Commons (UBC) Working in Groups Toolkit, as well as those developed by the Centre for Teaching Excellence (University of Waterloo), and by College Libraries Ontario via the Learning Portal.
In addition to the contributions by York's Learning Commons partners, The Student Guide to Group Work was made possible by funding provided by York University’s Office of the Vice-President Academic & Provost through the Academic Innovation Fund awarded in May 2020.
If you have any questions about the Student Guide to Group Work or would like to offer feedback on this guide, please contact Sophie Bury, Director of Learning Commons & Reference Services, firstname.lastname@example.org.