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Group work for the MSc (notes)

You set up spaces, but students will do their own thing, maybe on Skype, so let’s not stress too much over it.

Group work not assessed.

Not for every single course of the MSc.

Not all students will have technical or digital skills: keep it simple

Group work as part of the TS1 lectures and workshops: students break in groups to do a task.

From 5.4 (group types and teacher dialogues)

Teams satisfies most of these group types, private groups can be created on Learn, blogs make a good space for creating dialogue and a shared group resource. Collaborate can be used for live sessions as needed; Onedrive as a shared writing space. Your students can do this largely for themselves. They can create Collaborate sessions, Teams discussions, and Onedrive documents without you. So look at the following and consider the following questions:

  1. Is this relevant to my discipline or domain?  Which group types might be appropriate?
  2. Can several exist simultaneously in any one cohort?
  3. Which require tutor engagement and how would that be managed?

I wish I felt comfortable using all the software but in practice I’m wondering if it’s not best to stick to one to make my life easier as I have never worked online before.

In an ideal world we would use Collaborate for break-out groups as part of synchronous lectures/seminars/workshops (related to the translation theory class). These groups would be task specific and not assessed. So for our main theory course in sem 1 we could do a synchronous lecture with breakout groups. I wonder however what to do about the students who will not be able to attend the synchronous class and only access the recordings (we would cycle every week so it would not be the same students all the time). We could have an additional forum discussion on a related topic but I think that would double up work. For this course students have to write an essay and we could encourage them to organise themselves into groups to discuss translation strategies and theories. That way all students would have group experience as part of that course, and we do not need to recreate class group experience for those who cannot attend the synchronous lectures?

We could also encourage students to organise reading groups for instance: self organised groups. Give them some guidelines on how many and what languages should be represented in each group. If these groups are role-defined, we could re-assign roles for each reading activity so that it’s not the same student leading every time.

For our research methods course in sem 2:  we could ask the students to create self organised groups to share thoughts on research design. We could tell them to organise themselves in terms of the type of the dissertations (Research or Translation & Commentary). So it’s self organised but based on the type of dissertations.

We also teach the practice of translation and for this I could use Teams for asynchronous conversations around topics related to the practice of translation OR blogging groups: discussing challenges in a thread.

I like the ideas of formal and informal spaces: could use Teams for the translation practice course or research methods group discussions, and the students can use whatever they want outside those spaces to speak without tutors.

All this would require very clear guidelines for group work.

My question is: could I use Collaborate to do all of this?

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