Quoted and summarized below, and supplemented with input from additional sources cited below, are seven forms of in-class structured group activities commonly assigned by instructors based on a workshop given by the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching. Each is organized differently and, as such, should be approached in a particular way in order to maximize your opportunity to participate, to engage in learning about the topic, and to improve your understanding of a research problem by gaining perspective and knowledge from others. However, each activity can pose particular challenges. Below are descriptions of each group activity, along with suggestions intended to maximize the benefits of participating.
The Double-Entry Journal
Three Stay, One Stray
The Three-Step Interview
Active Learning Workshop: Focus on Group Work. Center for Excellence in Teaching, University of Southern California, September 25, 2012; Aronson, Elliot, and Shelley Patnoe. The Jigsaw Classroom: Building Cooperation in the Classroom. 2nd edition. New York: Longman, 1997; Barkley, Elizabeth F., and Claire Howell Major, K. Patricia Cross. Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. 2nd edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2014; Cohen, Elizabeth G. and Rachel A. Lotan. Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom. 3rd edition. New York: Teachers College Press, 2014; Handbook of Cooperative Learning Methods. Shlomo Sharan, editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994; Kagan, Spencer. "The Structural Approach to Cooperative Learning." Educational Leadership 47 (1990): 12-15; Strategy Guide: Using the Think-Pair-Share Technique. readwritethink, International Literacy Association; Shulman, Judith H., Rachel A. Lotan, Jennifer A. Whitcomb, editors. Groupwork in Diverse Classrooms: A Casebook for Educators. New York: Teachers College Press, 1998; Think, Pair, Share Cooperative Learning Strategy. TeacherVision.