Part 2: Characteristics of an Effective Group and Expected Behaviors and Responsibilities for Group Members


Effective Group Work

Successful cooperative learning doesn't just happen. It takes extra effort by each group member. For group work to be successful, individual group members need to have clear goals, plans and roles, as well as the ability to work together, mutual accountability, and the other elements of effective groups.

Goal Setting and Planning

As stated earlier, to make group work effective and successful, groups need to have well-defined goals and a plan for meeting those goals.

Another important element of success is for each team member to have an assigned role. Groups tend to function better if member roles are defined and assigned during the first meeting. These roles help all members to actively participate in the group process. However, each member doesn't need to be stuck in one role. Consider rotating roles, depending on the goals and activities of the meeting, so each member can experience all five functions of the group.

Five Roles Of Group Members

(Individual Roles that Help Groups Stay on Task)

Taskmaster - makes sure the group stays on task . A little green man with hands on hips.

Sample Taskmaster statements:




Checker - verifies that everyone agrees with an answer or approach and that all understand. A little green man looking closely at something.

Sample Checker statements:




Gatekeeper - makes sure each person has a turn and that all participate about equally - no loafers and no bullies. A little green man holding hands up.

Sample Gatekeeper statements:




Praiser - encourages others to share ideas, give opinions, and work hard. Makes sure members know they have done a good job and are appreciated. Praises ideas and helping behaviors. A happy little green man.

Sample Praiser statements:




Recorder - documents responses once all agree. Completes group evaluation forms. A little green man writing.

Sample Recorder statements:


You can even have a group of more than five - there are lots of additional roles additional members can play that will be helpful - roles like Gofer (go get stuff), Clarifier/Paraphraser, Noise Monitor, Researcher, Elaborator, Prober, and Integrator - just to name a few.


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