Jigsaw Work Groups
Impact on FacultyJigsaw work groups help to broaden student connection and deepen engagement with the course lessons.
Equity: One issue of equity that we must consider as instructors is how interpersonal relationships in the classroom may impact the learning experience. Frequently we call upon the use of groups to create student bonds and increase inclusion in the classroom. The jigsaw method takes that idea and elevates it. If each student’s contribution is important to the process, than, it follows, that each student is important too. The reliance these students now have on one another in their teaching groups helps to foster tolerance. By establishing equality of titles and reliance of information, this activity will help to break down prejudicial barriers and allow students to see the value and contributions of their peers.
Active Learning: By designating students as “experts” we activate their sense of responsibility over the material. A student who might have passively listened to group conversations in a traditional group activity is now actively invested to ensure that they understand the answers and that they can teach that information. This learning design increases students’ sense of responsibility over the material and raises everyone to the equal role of expert in their teaching groups. Students feel the importance of their role and they begin to own their piece of the puzzle.
Impact on StudentsThis activity allows instructors to bring challenging material to the classroom. It also allows students to work together and rise to the challenge of that material by providing a collaborative framework of success. Carefully consider group construction with this activity. Instructors can consider a variety of dimensions to use in the organization of students to increase desired outcomes. Want to help model to struggling students how to synthesize and engage with the course material? Then structure expert groups to include students at different success levels in the class. Have a divided classroom and little cooperation between varieties of groups? Then create expert or teaching groups to included members from these diverse group to get them working together.
Toolkit OverviewThis toolkit provides a presentation on jigsaw work groups including information on:
• What Jigsaw Works Groups Are
• The Benefits of Jigsaw Work Groups
• How To Design and Implement the Jigsaw Groups
• Jigsaw activity examples
Steps To Implement
1. Review the PowerPoint: Jigsaw Work Groups
2. Select a lesson you currently have that is challenging to students
3. Adapt that lesson to the jigsaw activity
4. Review results and adjust to meet the needs to your subject and student population