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Group Roles/Collaborative Learning by Mind Map: Group Roles/Collaborative Learning
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Group Roles/Collaborative Learning


Keeps the group on task and oriented towards its goals. Ensures that the group completes its tasks before deadlines. Your role is to assist the group leader in ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to contribute and to give time warnings


We have ten minutes to do this. Keep going. We need to work a little bit faster. We have plenty of time. Do we have time to do this now. We need to move onto the next job. We have five minutes to finish.

Computer Technician

Use of the computer Typer mouse clicker  



Your role is to report the thinking of your group initially to the other group and then to the whole session


Alternative Ideas

Thinks of alternatives to the way things are being done considers whether this is the best way to do something offers the oppisite argument for something so that group can decide they are followwoing the correct path


I have another way of doing this. How could we do this differently?


Also ensures the area is left tidy afterwards.


What do we need?What shall I find out for us?What do we need to know about?




Clarifies the aims of the group and helps the group to set sub-goals at the beginning of each meeting. Sub-goals should serve as an agenda of issues that need to be addressed during the meeting. Makes sure that all group members understand the concepts and the group’s conclusions. Starts the meetings, introduces each topic, and Your role is to invite and encourage others to contribute their ideas and to thank them for their contribution Use pause procedure to pause work for 2 mins to clarify goal,  jobs, time, progress Ensures area is left tidy

Phrases heard to say

What is your job? Okay let's go. You are doing well. Keep doing your job. That's great team. How much time do we have timekeeper?

Cheerleader/ Encourager

For the quieter or more reserved members of the team. Easy added extra for the child who misses the first week of the project.

Fairness Monitor/Sharer

Calmer/ Argument settler/Arbitrator

Important role when the groups are anything other than friendship groups

Group Types

Base Group

Base groups are long term, heterogenous, with stable membership

5 Minds Groups

Expert Groups

Expert Groups or Jigsaw Groups The class is divided into 5 “expert” groups of 5 students, each with the same focus They are given 20 minsto agree on and be able to teach the key points. The teacher checks for accuracy The students break up into 5 new “Jigsaw” groups that contain one member of each expert group who teach each other what they have learned (40 mins)  

Group Activities

Homogeneous Roles meet

Meet and discuss best tactics for using the role. E.g. All leaders meet to discuss the best way to lead groups - swap ideas - one scribe makes notes

Swap Leaders

All of the leaders rotate round the groups to lead a different group. Can the rest of the groups spot any differences that worked/didn't work?

Self Review

List 3 things the group did well and 1 thing that the group could do better


Either through pior knowledge and skills or via the expert teaching group. Expert Teaching Group The teacher withdraws one child from each group and teaches that gorup of children some specific skills (formatting or use fo a camera etc...) and then the expert child know goes back to the group and cascades the skills back to hteir group. Particularly helpful for the philosophy of less teacher talk and more active learning.

Teacher's in a Group

How often do we, as adults, have to work in a group but stumble through the process without direction or equality of individual contribution.


Leader/chariperson Timekeeper Scribe/notemaker/Recorder Researcher Resourcer


For planning meetings

National Curriculum

From Englsih NC - Speaking and Listening Group discussion and interaction 3. To talk effectively as members of a group, pupils should be taught to: make contributions relevant to the topic and take turns in discussion vary contributions to suit the activity and purpose, including exploratory and tentative comments where ideas are being collected together, and reasoned, evaluative comments as discussion moves to conclusions or actions qualify or justify what they think after listening to others' questions or accounts deal politely with opposing points of view and enable discussion to move on take up and sustain different roles, adapting them to suit the situation, including chair, scribe and spokesperson use different ways to help the group move forward, including summarising the main points, reviewing what has been said, clarifying, drawing others in, reaching agreement, considering alternatives and anticipating consequences.  



Checks that each person in the group understands what the group are doing. Uses Pause Procedure - works with Timekeeper - after 15 to 20 mins - pause for 2 mins while everyone checks the goal, their jobs (leader), progrees (timekeeper),


Primary Pad


roles explanation

Group Role Cards

Designing Group Learning


Assumes role of any missing team member - doubles up roles

Young Children

intorduce to young children by assigning each role with an animal so that the leader is a lion or elephant, the scribe is an owl, timekeeper...etc Ensuring the children take on the characteristics is as essential as taking on the role. The roles must be rotated so that every child gets the chance to play and develop in each role.

Facilitate Group Lessons

Discuss Expectations

Discuss expectations for working with others. Students need clear ground rules that make it clear that cooperative learning is not time for socializing or doing work for other classes. Make it clear that students are expected to be on task at all times. A timer can help you keep students on task during cooperative learning. Divide the task into small segments, and time each one.

Assign Groups

Assign groups. You know which students work well with each other and who will use the opportunity to start arguments or gossip sessions. Cooperative learning benefits students most when the groups are heterogeneous, meaning children of varying abilities are grouped together. Groups should consist of no more than four or five students.

Assign Roles

Assign roles. Typical roles for a cooperative learning group are leader, recorder, time keeper and presenter. If the group has five individuals, assign one person the role of errand monitor, to get any needed supplies for the group. It is important that each child in the group have a role. According to the California Department of Education, "positive interdependence is critical to the success of the cooperative group." In this way, students will learn the content and learn social skills that will benefit them in a variety of settings.

Define the Task

Define the task. Be clear about what you want the students to accomplish and exactly how much time they will have to complete the task. Provide a printed task sheet as well as oral directions. Walk around and ask a student from each group to explain the task to you. This will prevent groups from going off task due to confusion about the assignment.

Make a Rubric

Make a rubric. Break the task down into parts, and decide how many points each part will be worth. For example, if students are preparing and presenting a "newscast," a rubric might specify: Research is worth 25 points, Written Notes are worth 25 points, Participation is worth 25 points and Presentation is worth 25 points. Make it clear from the beginning that each student in the group will receive the same grade, as all are expected to contribute equally to the project.

Process Outcome

Process the outcome. After students have completed their cooperative learning task, talk to each group about how they worked together. One way to access student performance in groups is to ask the group members to rate each group member on participation, including themselves. Students are usually very honest about their own performance as well as that of others. Reflecting on cooperative learning makes it more likely that students will be more successful the next time they engage in it.