Enhancing College Students’ Online Group Work Perceptions and Skills Using a Utility-Value Intervention

Alison E. Kelly, Virginia Clinton-Lisell, Kendall A. Klein


College students’ perceptions of online group work can be negative, which creates challenges for implementing group work in online courses. Additionally, little research has examined group work skill development, despite calls for better preparing students for working effectively in groups. The purpose of the current study was to test the effectiveness of a utility-value intervention designed to enhance students’ perceptions of online group work and their group work skill use. Students (N = 68) were randomly assigned to view a video and answer an essay question on the usefulness and benefits (utility value) of online group work and group work skills (intervention) or on how online group projects were graded (control). Students in the intervention condition indicated online group work to be more useful and reported greater post-intervention group work skill use compared to students in the control condition. Students further reported their perceptions of the usefulness and costs of online group work, as well as their group work skills and insights, in open-ended items. Overall, the current study provides an effective and easy to implement intervention for improving college students’ perceptions of online group work and their group work skill use.


online group work, active learning, motivation, student attitudes, group work skills, online pedagogy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v26i3.2807

Copyright (c) 2022 Alison E. Kelly, Virginia Clinton-Lisell, Kendall A. Klein

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