Do you currently assign (or want to start assigning) group projects in your courses? Are you looking for a tool to help students work together virtually? Google Drive may be the tool that can help you seamlessly facilitate group projects into your on-campus and/or online courses.
The benefits of using Google Drive for group projects are numerous. First Google Drive is free to everyone. Second, you can set-up Google Drive with any email account (you are not restricted to Gmail). Additionally, Google Drive provides cloud-based document storage that can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smartphone. This allows students to easily share documents between group members. Finally, Google Drive not only allows all group members to view shared documents, it also provides group members the ability to update documents.
Many times my group projects are focused on students analyzing a company’s annual 10-K report. Therefore, Google Drive’s ability to track changes by student is very useful in assessing student participation and their individual contribution to the project. While I tell students at the start of any group project that some students may contribute more than others. Having the ability to easily view a student’s contribution to a project is helpful.
Besides students sharing the Google Drive documents with other group members, I also require students to share their group’s documents with me. This allows me to track the group’s progress throughout the semester.
John Dewey once said, “We do not learn from experience….we learn from reflecting on experience.” Therefore, at the conclusion of each group project, I require students to provide the following feedback:
- Do you feel that you did your fair share of this project? YES NO
List your contributions to this group project:
- Do you feel that all your team members did their fair share of this project? YES NO
If NO, please explain….
- Do you feel that all your team members should receive the same grade on this project? YES NO
If NO, please explain….
The group project format described above helps prepare our students for the “real world” work environment where cloud-based document sharing and team collaboration is vital to employee success.
For more information about Google Drive or to set up your free Google Drive account visit: https://drive.google.com
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