Overview Decide Design Deliver Evaluate

A. Inventory the Available Hardware and Software Resources
B. Determine the Grouping Strategy
C. Determine the Length of the Activity
D. Lesson Plans with Multimedia Activities

B. Determine the Grouping Strategy

After examining the availability of hardware and software, you will have a better idea of which grouping strategies are feasible. For example, if you only have access to one or two computers, you could plan a large group activity or assign small groups that will rotate to the computer. If you have a computer lab, numerous computers in your classroom, or access to a portable cart full of computers, you might decide to focus on individual activities or small groups. The following tables list some of the advantages and disadvantages of various group sizes (Ivers and Barron, 2002).

One Students can work at their own pace.
Students are not dependent on others.
Requires more computers.
Does not encourage collaboration.
May take longer to complete activities.
Two - Four Collaboration is encouraged.
Supports authentic learning.
Group size is manageable.
May be difficult to ensure equal participation and access.
Five or More Collaboration is encouraged.
Requires less computer time.
Allows more specialization.
May encourage slackers.
More chance of group disputes and off-task behavior.

One important aspect of group learning is role assignment. Assigning roles helps to ensure that all students participate and that no one person dominates a group. Roles may be based on group behaviors, computer tasks, or project assignments. For example, in a group of three students, the following roles could be assumed by the students:

  • Keyboarder - enters information in to the computer
  • Editor - oversees content
  • Record keeper - keeps track of group's progress 

Project roles may also be related to design and development issues (especially for long-term multimedia projects). In this case, students may play one or more of the roles outlined below.

Project Manager Organize the team members
Set the schedules
Track the progress
Instructional Designers Determine the screen layout
Create the flowcharts
Specify the project design in the storyboards
Graphic Artists Create the graphics
Create the animations
Production Specialists Record and edit the audio
Record and edit the video
Program Authors

Debug and test the program
Produce the program


Try This

Read the following articles about cooperative learning and technology.

Which techniques do you think will work best in your classroom?

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This course was developed in partnership between the Pinellas School
and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at USF.
Overview Design Decide Deliver Evaluate