In addition to having good communication skills, a team needs a well-defined goal in order for them to succeed. Do you want a group lab report? A five minute response to a question? A constructed model?
Are there limits in terms of time or resources? Are you requiring to students to meet outside of class or to do all their work in class?
The more specifics you can give teams, the more comfortable they will be in organizing themselves for the assignment.
Many guides suggest focusing on larger-scale team projects that individuals could not do alone. On the other hand, small-scale projects can also be done collaboratively depending on the course structure and goals. However, it is sometimes recommended that collaborative projects require some element that one student could not do alone.
The following are some team projects which have been assigned at Penn State.
- Develop a sample marketing plan for a cable TV network
- Create a Web site about Penn State written in a foreign language
- Write and present sample weather forecasts
- Design mobile robots
- Manage a hypothetical hospital
- Work in pairs to write and edit a foreign language essay