Objective: To manage group work in order to overcome marginalisation of students.
Description: In order to avoid students from not having the opportunity to give a presentation one option would be to require all students to contribute to the presentation. Some students may benefit from additional guidance on giving presentations and by practising; both of which could be made possible by referral of students to the Learning Development Centre. It would also be useful to be transparent with students about the rationale, explaining why it is important for all students to experience giving a presentation. If there are other marginalisation issues the tutor could discuss these openly with students and could set as an explicit goal that students ensure that they are capitalising upon the diversity of the group ant to reflect upon what they have learned from working in a diverse group setting. Some forms of marginalisation can be subtle – look out for them eg views not being taken seriously, being last to be selected to be in a group etc.
Assign a range of roles and responsibilities for groups so that also students gain experience of a range of roles.
Background: Both International students and home students form ethnic minority backgrounds for whom English is a second language, can feel marginalised in group work (Ippolitto, 2007), particularly in relation to being excluded from presentations of group projects. Due to assumptions about language competency some students are not asked or discouraged from giving oral presentations. Students tend to have a preference for working in friendships and for working with students from similar backgrounds (Ippolitto, 2007). Whilst student-selected friendship groups are common practice they have been found to inhibit individual contributions (Buxton 2003). Tutor-managed groups, rather than self-selected groups is a more realistic reflection of what students will encounter in employment (Thorley and Gregory 1994).
References: Buxton (2003), Ippolotto (2007),
Thorley, L. And Gregory, R. (Eds) (1994) Using group based learning in higher education. Kogan Page: London.
Race Equality Toolkit