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As students work together in a group to complete a specific task, they learn communication skills in addition to deepening their understanding of relevant content.

Cognitive development occurs in the context of interaction with others as ideas are articulated and exchanged, and collaborative skills are developed.

All the higher functions originate as actual relations between human individuals.
- Lev Vygotsky, Mind in Society.

Employability and group work

The competencies developed in group work contribute to the employability of students. In order to be successful in their professional lives, students need to be confident in their ability to communicate in a professional context, work productively with others, and think critically and reflectively.

Students expect that they will develop during their university course the skills they need to be successful professionally. However, employers and government agencies have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of skills graduates demonstrate in the workplace.

It becomes increasingly important that the potential of group work to prepare students for their future employment is recognised and harnessed during their university education.

Skills acquired through group work

  • oral and written communication skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • critical and reflective thinking
  • leadership
  • negotiation
  • conflict resolution
  • expressing an opinion
  • professional communication skills
  • organisational skills
  • meeting skills
  • problem solving.