Ideas for online activities that pair or group adult learners

Hello everyone. I am currently working on redesigning online college courses that will incorporate more group or partner activities. Can anyone suggest any tools or ideas (except for forum discussions which we already incorporate) that will help accomplish this? We are looking for activities that will engage learners and also be tracked.

Thanks in advance.

4 Replies
john faulkes

There are technical ways to pull in variable data from a database that can be configured to enable group activity, if various individuals are all separately connecting to it. 

The same functionality enables very precise tracking if you design it in (better than an LMS).

Let me know if you wish to talk further.

Bob S

Hi Michael,

Back in the day we created  simple partner activities where you have to "find" your classmate with a matching piece of info to yours then work together to record/present how to apply the concept.

For example.... 

  1. Let's say there are 8 key concepts/tips for a given topic.
  2. Split those into 16 matching pairs by either a) title & simple definition or b) two halfs to more lengthy definitions.
  3. Randomly (or not!) assign the 16 disparate pieces out to the group and instruct them to coordinate with each other to find their group mates with the right match
  4. Once found, the two partners work together to create an example/story/plan for how their shared concept/tip can be applied to in  real world situation they have faced
  5. As partnered pairs, present/post their full definition and application
  6. (Optional) As full group, review/discuss each of the 8 completed examples

Pros - Group Interaction, Peer Learning, Real-world applications, Pairings can be Assigned to "force"  cooperation (such as between business units that don't normally interact)

Cons - Time needed, Odd numbers, Partner Absenteeism

Hope this helps,


Heather Corley

1. I always liked scenario-based projects in my online classes. Working with the group, we had to analyze the scenario and come up with a solution for the problem, then present it to the class.

1a. I've seen this same idea but set up as a mystery that they need to solve as a group.

2. You could incorporate a blog. Groups would need to figure out how to present their assignment answers on the blog, whether it's by using text and images or creating a video. Podcasts could also work here - have the groups record their research results, etc.