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Establishing Roles for Collaborative Learning

To ensure effective collaborative learning students need to be aware of and assume designated roles. Roles may be negotiated within the group or allocated by teachers. Roles should be rotated ensuring, that over the course of a term or semester, students gain experience in developing a range of capabilities. Some possible roles are:

Manager

  • keeps the group on task
  • ensures everyone has the opportunity to contribute and that the recorder notes the individual's contribution
  • is responsible for monitoring progress according to the management or action plan and calling them together if/when necessary
  • liaises or negotiates with other groups and with the teacher
  • contributes appropriately to discussion, listens to others.

Time keeper

  • monitors progress according to the group's overall timeline and during sub-tasks as appropriate
  • liaises with the manager
  • contributes appropriately to discussion, listens to others.

Recorder

  • listens carefully to discussion and records main points
  • notes decisions made by the group and any other matters as directed by the manager
  • has notes checked by the group/manager for reliability
  • contributes appropriately to discussion.

Reporter

  • reports to the class or teacher if/when necessary
  • ensures that the group members know what should be included in their portfolios
  • contributes appropriately to discussion, listens to others.

Resourcer/materials manager

  • gathers materials/resources for the group
  • liaises with the manager
  • develops outside contact with the community
  • monitors the use of materials and gathers more when needed.

Interpreter

  • may be called upon to report to the class
  • restates decisions, discussion to the group members
  • paraphrases
  • asks questions of the group members to help unpack the meaning of the discussion.


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