Series: New Tech Network Deeper Learning

Group Contracts for Collaborative Work
Lesson Objective: Use group contracts to facilitate better collaboration during projects
Grades 9-12 / All Subjects / PBL

Thought starters

  1. What are some of the problems students might encounter when working in groups on extended, complex projects?
  2. How can contracts be designed to mitigate these challenges?
  3. What checks and balances need to be in place for contracts to be effective?
13 Comments
This is wonderful! I would love to use the contract shown in the video as it is more detailed than the examples in the links to the right. Is it possible to gain access to the contract used in the video? Thank you!
Recommended (0)
Is there somewhere to access the Sample Group Contracts? The link is provided does not have the contract.
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Getting fired sounds like something to avoid so a student doesn't have to do all the work by themselves
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The link to the sample group contracts doesn't work anymore. I'd LOVE to get my hands on the one in the video. I think these are an awesome idea that I can hardly wait to try!
Recommended (5)
My wife uses class contracts with her (elementary) classes and she loves it (so do the students). Having set student-generated expectations and classroom norms is good way for students to not only feel accountable to their teacher but to their peers as well. I had never considered doing group contracts until I saw this video; I'm glad I found it.
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Transcripts

  • Group Contracts for Collaborative Work Transcript

    Teacher: Where do you guys stand so far? Has anyone posted and completed it?

    Group Contracts for Collaborative Work Transcript

    Teacher: Where do you guys stand so far? Has anyone posted and completed it? Nice job.

    Narrator: Contract is a very important tool because we find that if you don’t have any norms to come back to, there’s no ground to stand on where you’re trying to adjust the problem, other than people’s personal perspectives.

    Teacher: I don’t feel like we could implement that.

    Narrator: We start at the beginning of the year with students creating classroom-wide norms, and then every time they get a new team, they create team norms. That’s right down the detail that if someone’s absent, what can you expect from them, as far as communication? Do you expect them to respond to emails? In what time period? Whatever it is, there needs to be a means of communication. They also, in their contract, determine how they’re gonna make decisions, whether by consensus or majority vote or some other system. They need to agree on all of these parameters.

    Student: I’ll make the Google iFolder.

    Student: Using the contract is something that is really hard to do in the beginning, and holding people accountable is very hard to do when you first come to Tech Valley. It’s something that you’re not used to doing. You don’t have to at a traditional school. It’s all about me and my grade needs to be good. As soon as you get here, the first thing you do is you get thrown into a group, and all of a sudden, you have to worry about yourself and two to three other people. As problems arise and you adjust them through the contract, usually it’s on a warning system, so you don’t do your work one day, you get a warning.

    Narrator: After three warnings, they’re actually fired from the team. They have to complete the project on their own. Students are motivated not to get fired because it’s very daunting to do a four-person project by yourself.

    Teacher: Are you guys all set with your deadlines?

    Narrator: We do support them in asking the question. When they’re issuing a warning, well, why did that happen? What could the team do to support that person in the future so that breakdown of communication or accountability doesn’t repeat itself.

    Teacher: Excellent. You’re on track.

    [End of Audio]

Teachers

Leah Penniman

Newest

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration