Getting StartedAt the start of every semester, I get a list of my students along with their Grade Point Averages (GPAs). I use this information to create groups of 4-5 students each (with some one student fewer). I first order the students by decreasing GPA, and then if I plan on creating 6 groups I go down the list, and number the students 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. In this way, the groups are pretty balanced. If you instead numbered the students 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc., all of the students in group 1 would have QPAs higher than their comparative student in groups 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. In other words, the first student in group 1 would be higher than the first student in all the other groups, and the second student of group 1 would be higher then the second student of the other groups and so on. This makes group 1 stronger than group 2 which is stronger than group 3 etc. My groups are fixed for the entire semester.
Introducing Students to Active and Cooperative Learning
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Last updated June 26, 2001 by Dr. Jeffrey J. McConnell