"Students Riding on Coattails During Group Work? Five Simple Ideas to Try" (online article) offers 5 practical strategies for responding to the question, "How should one deal with the issues that arise when members of a group are not picking up their share of the responsibilities during a group work project?"
The suggestions (expanded in the article) "focus on the persistent challenge of imbalance when not all group members contribute equally:
1. "Design a group project in which the students work in phases."
2. "Develop an element of the project that allows group members to make their own choices.
3. "Within a group project, include a component requiring individual students to submit non-onerous individual work."
4. "Devote a segment (30 minutes or so) during class before all group projects begin to implement two important steps."
- "Step 1: Get to know each other."
- "Step 2: Establish group norms."
5. "Prepare students to expect the unexpected."