Online learning and teaching in groups

In online learning, whole Units of Study or sections of them, can be conducted via the web, as some learning activities are better suited to online work than others.

There are three processes in designing and conducting online group work:

  • text-only communication
  • equalisation of status
  • opportunity to hide or alter one’s identity (Lynch, 2004).

Although some issues are common to both online and face-to-face groups, the online context provides some unique attributes and challenges such as:

  • getting groups formed and started (see Implement – Prepare)
  • organising the online activities
  • facilitating, monitoring and managing online interactions (e.g. setting rules,
  • refocussing, providing feedback) (see Implement – Monitor).