Keys to working in small groups online

During your university studies, you will be involved in a wide variety of groups and often participate in groupwork online. Groupwork provides an excellent opportunity to collaborate with other students and to get to know different perspectives, strategies and solutions. Because groupwork can be challenging at times, especially online, this tool gives you tips for best practices in group collaboration and its planning and implementation.  

Tips for working in small groups 

In the video, you will get tips for successful and collaborative work in small groups online. It describes the process of small groupwork and its benefits, objectives and requirements.  

Develop your groupwork skills 

Planning process for groupwork

Groupwork skills and roles in a group

Teamwork tips, for better teamwork


Active listening
Giving feedback

Groupwork exercises 

Everyone’s role within a group
Evaluation of working in a group

At the beginning of groupwork:  

  • How does our group work?  
  • What kind of practices, rules and divisions of responsibility do we have?  

During groupwork:  

  • What is the atmosphere of the group?  
  • How do collaboration and interaction work?  
  • Are we working effectively and appropriately?  
  • Should we do anything differently?  
  • Evaluation of the output of groupwork  

    At the end of groupwork:  

    • How did we do: what were the activities of the group like during the process? Where were we successful?  
    • What could we do differently next time?  
    • What did we learn from this groupwork?  
    Being heard in a group


    • Can you get your thoughts and ideas through in a group?   
    • Do you have the courage to say what ideas you have?   
    • Do you give others space to share their ideas?   
    • Do you encourage others to express their ideas?   
    • How do you make a mutual decision about what to do?   
    • How could your group’s way of discussing be improved? 
    My own listening skills 

    Improve your listening by reflecting on the following questions in relation to a particular current or previous groupwork or a groupwork situation.  


    a. What is the purpose of your listening? 

    • Are you listening to learn and understand the other side better? Or to analyse and evaluate the reliability or value of something?  
    • Or to win, be right, or have the last word?  

    b. What kind of listening does the task or situation require? 

    c. What presuppositions and feelings do you have about the topic, the situation or the other parties How do they affect your attitude? 

    d. What factors help or hinder your listening? 

    e. How do you focus on listening to the message in its entirety before coming to an interpretive or evaluative conclusion? 

    f. If you notice that your attention is waning, or the situation evokes strong emotions, what will help you return to purposeful listening? 

    g. How do you demonstrate listening in your communication behaviour, verbally and non-verbally? 

    h. How do you show consideration and appreciation for others and their participation? 

    i. What indicates to you that you are listening effectively?   

    j. What feedback have you received from your listening? 

    Introduction exercises

    Exercises to get to know each other

    Löydä lisätietoa aiheesta