SmartGroup: A Tool for Small-Group Learning Activities

Haining Zhu, Na Li, Nitish Kumar Rai, John M. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Small-group learning activities (SGLAs) offer varied active learning opportunities and student benefits, but higher education instructors do not universally adopt SGLAs, in part owing to management burdens. We designed and deployed the SmartGroup system, a tool-based approach to minimize instructor burdens while facilitating SGLAs and associated benefits by managing peer group formation and peer group work assessment. SmartGroup was deployed in one course over 10 weeks; iterations of SmartGroup were provided continuously to meet the instructor’s needs. After deployment, the instructor and teaching assistant were interviewed, and 20 anonymous post-study survey responses were collected. The system exposed students to new perspectives, fostered meta-cognitive opportunities, and improved weaker students’ performances while being predominantly well-received in terms of usability and satisfaction. Our work contributes to the literature an exploration of tool-assisted peer group work assessment in higher education and how to promote wider SGLA adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalFuture Internet
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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