Principle #2: Develop Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

Principle #2: Develop Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

Principle #2: Develop Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students


Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one’s own ideas and responding to others’ reactions sharpens thinking and deepens understanding.


  Pedagogy Implementation

Students fill out their online profiles.

Have students upload their head shot to Moodle’s profile, and write a paragraph about themselves, including hobbies, pets, etc.


Students introduce themselves.

Use a Forum activity for student introductions for this specific class -- why they took it, what they’re hoping to get out of it, etc.  


In synchronous online class sessions, put students into groups, rather like you would in an F2F class.

Use Moodle’s Zoom activity for online sessions, and use Zoom's breakout room feature. Here are some good tips for Zoom breakout rooms.


In asynchronous discussions, require students to refer both to the course material and each other’s posts.

Use Moodle’s Q&A Forum type, where they must post before they can see others posts.  This first post must reference course material. Then, require them to reference at least one other student’s post.  Be sure to explain this and grading criteria in the assignment description.


Open your online class sessions early, and let students talk about anything, class-related or otherwise.  This is called the “waiting room,” and it’s a way to create a sense of community.

In the Moodle Zoom activity, check “Enable join before host.”  This lets students come into the meeting room early.

6 In the work world, group work is increasingly important in the 21st century, and more and more being done online.  When creating group projects for your classes, here are some suggestions:
  1. Use Google Docs so students share the same file.
  2. Require a draft
  3. Think about using a template document
  4. Since students will tend to compartmentalize their work even in a group project, require students reference each other’s work.
  5. Allow students to suggest grades or points for their collaborators.
  6. Use small groups of 3-4 students.

Some Resources for group projects:

  1. Google Docs, Presentations, and Sheets all have a Version history feature so you can see who did what and when.
  2. So you can tell early on who is contributing more and who is contributing less early in the project.
  3. You can create a template, share with students View only, and let them make a copy for their group.
  4. They may split a project into pages or slides in a presentation, so make part of the grade depend on referencing other students’ pages or slides.
  5. Here are some suggested group grading methods.
  6. Students who enjoy bigger online groups will still be productive in smaller groups. But introverted online learners are less likely to participate in open forums. As a result, you should create smaller online groups based on the eLearning topic, course, goals or student interests.
7 Some traditional classroom strategies translate well to hybrid and online classes.

Here are Five Simple Ideas to Try, and some perspectives from students.

8 Practice good "Netiquette," i.e.,  "Internet Etiquette" Here is SMC's Netiquette page.