Group Roles

When breaking students into groups, each member should have a designated role, task, and responsibility. These should align to the project needs and also be necessary to group success. Students are given general group roles for organizing the project. Benne and Sheats (1948) suggest 13 possible roles which are the Initiator/Contributor, Information Seeker, Information Giver, Opinion Seeker, Opinion Giver, Elaborator, Co-ordinator, Orienter, Evaluator/Critic, Energizer, Procedural Technician, and Recorder.

Taking these descriptions, I came up with the following roles I use with group projects. I have students first do a group synergy activity as a team building exercise. This is the handout I created for initial group organization and roles which can be accessed here and reused. The following are roles designated for groups of 4.

Member roles (each member must choose only 1 role):

Group leader: This person makes sure everyone is doing their part, understands their tasks, give out tasks when members don’t volunteer, and makes the final decision when voting doesn’t work.  They will take turns with the organizer in writing the information in any online forms. This person also makes sure the group is listening to the teacher when she gives the symbol for all to be silent and listening.

Organizer: This person makes sure that everyone in their group participates in every project. They will take turns with the team leader in writing the information in any online forms. They read the instructions for all tasks to the group and make sure everyone understands the task.

Project Deliverer: This person uploads group work to the folder and emails the work. They make sure the work is organized correctly and is the group’s best work.

Reporter: This person will be the speaker of the group who presents for us the group’s work. They will also take notes for the group when needed.

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