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Potential group work roles

Group facilitator: moderates discussions, keeps the group on task, assures work is done by all,
and makes sure all have opportunity to participate and learn.
Timekeeper: monitors time and moves group along so that they complete the task in the
available time, keeps area clean, assumes role of any missing group member if there is no
wildcard member.
Recorder: takes notes of the group's discussion and prepares a written conclusion.
Checker: makes sure that all group members understand the concepts and the group's
Summarizer: restates the group's conclusions or answers.
Elaborator: relates the discussion with prior concepts and knowledge.
Research-Runner: gets needed materials and is the liaison between groups and between their
group and the instructor.
Wildcard: assumes role of any missing member.

Potential Project Roles

Leader/Editor: This student is in charge of organizing the final product of the project, be it
a paper, a presentation, etc. That doesn't mean technical details, but of making sure that the
project meets the standards set out by the instructor (often as a rubric), plus any extras stipulated
by the group. These standards generally include punctuality and completeness.

Recorder/Secretary: This person takes notes whenever the group meets and keeps track of
group data/sources/etc. This person distributes these notes to the rest of the group highlighting
sections relevant for their parts of the project.

Checker: Someone needs to double-check data, bibliographic sources, or graphics for

accuracy and correctness.

Spokesperson/Press Secretary/Webmaster: This person would be responsible for the

technical details of the final product and would be ready to summarize the group's progress and
findings to the instructor and to other groups.
Possible Discussion Roles

Facilitator/Encourager: This student gets discussion moving and keeps it moving, often by
asking the other group members questions, sometimes about what they've just been saying.

Timekeeper: Someone needs to make sure that the group stays on track and gets through a
reasonable amount of material in the given time period.

Summarizer: Every so often (perhaps once per question for a list of questions, or at the end
for one question), this student provides a summary of the discussion for other students to approve
or amend.

Reflector: This student will listen to what others say and explain it back in his or her own
words, asking the original speaker if the interpretation is correct.

Elaborator: This person seeks connections between the current discussion and past topics or
overall course themes.

Designating Roles in Groups

Groups that are created for in-class discussion can be easily organized around the following fourperson model. Each member of the group plays a specific role that supports the teams collaborative
effort. These roles include:

Leader: Responsible keeping the group on task, maintaining the schedule (meetings,
deadlines), and maintaining contact information (phone numbers, emails).
Encourager: Encourages conversation and inclusion of all opinions, and guides the discussion
towards consensus.
Prober: Ensures that the assumptions are correct and that there is sufficient evidence for the
Recorder: Writes down the groups solution that will be submitted for the group grade.


Speaker (the primary, although not the only, presenter of the group research; participates in the
Facilitator (keeps the group on task, focuses questions, oversees issues of quality and time
management; responsible for individual and group assessment)
Writer (coordinates the written work of research and the production of the final group brief to
be presented to the team - there may be two, if dissenting opinions emerge)
Visual producers (coordinates and produces the visual product highlighting the major points of
their groups position/research on the proposition on poster board or PowerPoint


Or instead of norms you could have guidelines, such as:


Ask everyone in your group before you ask the teacher.

Or one person in the group is the designated question asker only that person can ask a
question on behalf of the group to the teacher.

Or the group may ask three questions to the teacher over the course of the class session.