Supplemental Exercises and Activities for the Collaborative Report Project
One of the hardest parts of teaching this project is figuring out ways to teach effective collaboration skills. One way to offer practice in developing these skills is by facilitating low-stakes team-building activities like this procedural writing exercise. While it’s focused on the genre of instruction writing, it creates an environment for teams to solve a problem together. You could easily adapt this exercise to focus on the logical progression of a report instead of a recipe as well.
Other ways of teaching collaboration include requiring some form of team documentation. A contract or Team Charter exercise like the one listed below can help set expectations from the beginning of the project which make it more likely the teams succeed in their task.
You might also find it helpful to include some kind of self/team evaluation to get more insight into which team members were actually contributing to the final product. Some instructors even use these evaluations when considering final project grades (you can assign a product grade for the report itself and a process grade for the individual team member’s contribution for example).
Time/project management skills are also useful when engaging inc collaborative work. Although traditional Gantt Charts have fallen out of favor in many professional environments, this project allows students to think through multiple ways of planning a large project. You can use this exercise to segue into discussions of more contemporary agile methodologies.
If you are looking for a more general introduction to the report genre, consider this PAD (purpose, audience, design) analysis activity.
The following exercise follows a similar format but focuses on recommendation report examples.