How groups are formed

Getting Started
How groups are formed
How groups develop
The first meeting and building a real team
What do we need to produce?
How do we produce it?

Groups can be formed in many different ways, and have different numbers of group members.  Whatever way it happens, keep an open mind and aim to make it work.  The lecturer/tutor will have chosen the group size and method of forming groups that is best for the learning objectives of the task.

Lecturer assigned groups
It may be advantageous to create heterogeneous or homogenous groups (based on age, gender skills, nationality etc) for some tasks.

Students self-select
Advantages are that you can choose who you think you can work well with and who have similar timetables to make scheduling meetings easier. This apporach may be difficult if you don?t know other students.

Random allocation/selection
Taking a number from a box, for example. Students who choose the same number from a box form a group.

Other approaches to forming groups

Skill-set of students
Each group is arranged with at least one member with a set of identified skills and competencies.  A short questionnaire can ask students to rate their skills in specific areas, then groups created based on skills needed for a task.

Location
Groups can be created so that it is easier to get together with those who live nearby. This can make arranging meetings easier on the weekend as can be a lot easier on the weekend than having to come on-campus for a group meeting.

Topic selection
Students each rank a list of available topics according to their interest. Groups can be created based on the rankings provided.

Adapted from : Options for group formation link and Race, P. (2000) 500 Tips on Group Learning. London: Kogan Page Ltd., p33.