Group Processing

Learners reflect on group work, describe group member actions that were helpful and unhelpful to maintaining effective working relationships and achieving goals, and make logical decisions about what to continue or change.


Four people with a large thought bubble above them that shows a ball, a dialog box, a heart and a smile face

Engage in group reflection about the quality of members' learning tasks

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Use protocols to discuss the quality and proficiency of the group's work, both individually and as a group

Questions to Ask Learners

  • How did you discuss the quality of your group products?

  • How did you think about how to improve the quality of your group products?

Four people sitting at a round table

Engage in individual and group reflection about how the team functioned

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Describe how their own, or other group members', actions helped or hurt the success of their learning experience

Questions to Ask Learners

  • How did you think about or discuss your own actions in the group? Each other's?

  • Do you feel your group is supporting and relying on each other?

  • Why do you think that?

computer display with graphs and charts

Determine ongoing improvements to the group structure (including roles, distribution of tasks, feedback processes)

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Outline how the group will continue to determine roles and responsibilities in a way that ensures all group members participate and contribute

Questions to Ask Learners

  • How did your group think about next steps?

  • Who will take on what roles?

  • How did that get decided, and why?


Group processing clarifies and improves the effectiveness of collaboration by enabling groups to improve the quality of members’ work, facilitating the learning of teamwork skills, ensuring feedback on participation, and enabling a focus on group maintenance.


Learners are able to engage in group processing through opportunities to stop and reflect, as well as scaffolds, including prompts and protocols. High-quality reflections and feedback result from ongoing, collaborative group processing and whole-group feedback alongside individual feedback.

Educator Actions

Learning facilitators promote and support learners in reflecting on the performance of collaborative learning groups.

CSTPs: 2.2, 2.5

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Group processing is a perfect fit with project-based learning and other motivating learning opportunities. Have groups of learners use protocols and processes during their project to evaluate their roles, reflect on their group progress, and consider ways to be more effective as a group.


  • Model the process of identifying and reflecting on helpful and unhelpful group member actions (P/F)

  • Facilitate structured reflection and feedback sessions (P/F)

  • Work with groups to problem-solve and improve their performance (P/F)

  • Provide a mix of collective and individual feedback to groups and group members (P/F)

  • Provide learners with an opportunity to define their roles and responsibilities on the team as well as to define how they will rely on one another (P/F)

P = planned F = facilitated spontaneously