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Key Information: Groupwork and Presentations

Despite the advantages outlined elsewhere in this module, how might a student’s (disability related) needs be impacted in group work situations and presentations?

Some of the general concerns and issues with group work

Students may face difficulties in group working situations in a number of ways:

  • In terms of set group work, clarity about what the task is
    • Has the task been communicated clearly?
    • Is sufficient time given to ensure that all students are able to fully understand and prepare for the task?
  • With informal groups some students may face challenges in accessing these groups or feeling that they are welcome
  • Individual students’ ability to empathise with others in group tasks
  • Students needing to balance their own goals with those of others
  • Accessible spaces within which to engage in group task
    • Physical space
    • Sensory space
      • can everyone hear what is being said?
      • are there challenges of sensory overload?
    • Online environment
      • Can everyone access this? Have they got the right equipment or technical know-how?
      • Are people comfortable engaging in group discussion online
  • Attitudes of some students to others
  • Some students may have concern about their ability to fully participate in face to face elements and whether this will mean they will be seen as “free riders” Challenges in face to face group work might include:
    • Communicating their ideas
    • Confidence in making coherent arguments
    • Anxiety about social interaction and working with strangers
    • Anxiety about how they will be perceived
  • Their ability to pick up on verbal and non-verbal cues from other group members
  • Relating to other group members and their particular perspectives and issues.
  • Some students may have particular challenges with regard to:
    • Rigidity of thought and behaviour.
    • Issues with sensory processing
    • Intolerance of uncertainty theory.
    • Special interests that could take them off task/topic.

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