The students are divided into study groups at the beginning of their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree studies. In both this and subsequent semesters, the study groups are currently reshuffled and combined into new groups. This creates variation among study group members and enhances students’ collaboration skills.
Rotating study groups may contribute to better social integration in the course and develop the students’ collaboration skills. In their future careers, the students must collaborate with many different types of people; therefore it is important to train such skills already during their studies. In addition, the rotating study groups may provide an opportunity for students to get to know one another (particularly if there are many students in a year group or the students come from different backgrounds) and to feel part of an academic community.
The students may be selected randomly for the groups based on the teacher’s or student teacher’s choice, or on the basis of personal preferences for working methods or interests, for instance. You may run a quiz in your teaching session and combine the students on the basis of their responses.
Agree with the other teachers in the degree programme how the students should be divided into groups across academic subjects and levels. You may discuss, for instance, whether the students should be moved to new study groups each semester or remain in permanent study groups after the first couple of semesters. This will enable all teachers to base their work on the same overall plan, which includes one standard structure for the students in all their courses in the programme.
Is it possible to form groups in the same way in all courses across the year group, so that the students experience a sense of cohesion across all courses?
How will you as a teacher support your students’ work in the groups? For instance by supplying agreement forms (awaiting translation) or suggestions for working methods.