Facilitate effective group work 


Watch as teacher, Tim Jolliff, demonstrates how to create the right environment for successful group work in your classroom.

Learn strategies you can easily apply to run group work well and maximize your students’ learning. Sign up to our free Effective pedagogy online CPD course for further techniques and development support like this. 

There are 104 pages with discussions, demonstrations and activities to illustrate the concepts introduced in the course. 

The course includes nine key topics such as Models of teaching, Effective practical work, and Questioning.

It will take approximately nine hours to complete. 

You can find further details about the structure of the course in the additional information below.

Visit our teacher CPD pages to view our other courses.

Type of Activity

group work



Age Group

11 to Undergraduate

The teacher's role in group work.

Please click here to read the discussion before watching the video.

Effective group work does not happen on its own! The teacher's role is crucial:

  • in establishing the conditions for group work to be successful;
  • in planning the activities with clear learning goals;
  • in monitoring and intervening to keep it on track; and
  • afterwards in capitalising on the gains made in the group work so that both the learning about science and about effective working together are consolidated.

It can be tempting for us to step back and have a rest during group work, or even extend the activity because the class are getting on and there is no disruption. We should remember that our aim is to maximise learning, not an easy life for ourselves – the activities have been planned with a learning goal, and the plan needs adhering to. 

Take a few minutes to reflect upon your current practice, before watching the video in which a teacher discusses the following points in relation to group work:

  • the physical environment;
  • setting ground rules and establishing the climate;
  • producing quality discussions; and
  • monitoring group work.


An effective teacher must have a range of different teaching and learning tools that can be drawn upon and used in the classroom. In the Effective pedagogy course, you will learn about the core ideas or ‘building blocks’ that are required for effective learning to take place.

After working through the full course, you will be able to:

  • understand what is meant by Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) in chemistry;
  • use Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies in the classroom;
  • understand when it is appropriate to use practical work in the classroom; and
  • use a wide range of strategies to stretch and challenge students, and improve the way all students access the chemistry curriculum.

Thank you to John Walker and Dorothy Warren for authoring this course.