From the CRLT Blog

Using Groups and Teams in Teaching: New CRLT Resources

September 13, 2021
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Students working in a group around a tableWhat are the benefits of collaborative learning? What are best practices for forming teams? How can I promote effective group dynamics? And, how do I hold students accountable in this learning context?

Questions such as these arise regularly in consultations with U-M instructors who are implementing group work in their courses. Drawing on these experiences and the research on best practices, CRLT has created a new webpage, Introduction to Groups and Teams. It is designed to be a valuable starting point for instructors to consider as they add or revise group assignments and activities to their courses. The site includes information and resources on the following topics:

  • Why work in teams and groups? An overview of the benefits of collaboration, including strategies for handling student resistance to group work.
  • Informal In-class Group Activities: A discussion of best practices for short, in-class activities with ad hoc groups, including activity design, group formation, and options for debriefing group activities.
  • In-class Activities with Standing Groups or Teams: A guide for creating teams that work together in class over several weeks or even over the entire semester, including strategies such as group contracts and regular group process check-ins.
  • Project-based Groups or Teams: A deep dive into the development and implementation of group projects, including strategies for promoting collaboration and ways to manage the practical considerations of group assignments requiring out-of-class work time.

CRLT consultants are also happy to meet with you about incorporating group work into your courses. You can request a consultation through our website or by emailing