Online Teaching and Learning of Transferable Skills Through Task Group Practice Online Teaching and Learning of Transferable Skills Through Task Group Practice


  • Mamadou M Seck CSU Ohio



Students joined online task groups to complete one assignment in a social work diversity class that aims at developing critical-thinking and group work as transferable skills. The researcher used a phenomenological perspective to analyze phenomena that occurred during the group development process. Fifty-six undergraduate students provided data on their groups regarding task-completion, interactions, and decision-making processes, as well as other factors that influenced the outcome of the group process. The analysis revealed that students learned and put into practice critical thinking and group work skills used as they dealt with group phenomena such as group composition, setting up a contract and effective communication channels, and conflict management. The significance of this teaching case resides in its potential to enhance the effectiveness of online teaching through task groups. Social work instructors, field liaisons, and supervisors who use this teaching method may deliver effective and efficient signature pedagogy to a high number of supervisees. Limitations reside in the qualitative nature of the collected data, as well as in the small sample size, which precludes the generalizability of the findings. Future work with quantitative methodologies will

Author Biography

Mamadou M Seck, CSU Ohio

Associate Professor


Ahern, K. J. (1999). Ten tips for reflexive bracketing. Qualitative Health Research, 9, 407- 411.

Allen, I. E. and Seaman, J. (2013). Changing Course: Ten years of Tracking Online Education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC. Retrieved from:

Barker, R. L. (1999). The Social Work Dictionary (4th ed.). NASW Press

De Laat, P. B. (2005). Trusting virtual trust. Ethics and Information Technology. 7, p.167-180

Fernandez, L. (1997). Running an Effective Task Group. The New York Social Worker,

The Social Work Career Magazine, 1-2. Retrieved from

Flynn, I. S. (2009). Group Size: Social Interaction in Groups & Organizations. EBSCO Research Starters, Sociology (online p.1-7). Retrieved from

Hesterman, S. (2016). The Digital Handshake: A Group Contract for Authentic eLearning in Higher Education. The Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 13(3/6) 1-25.

Hsu, Y., Ching, Y., Mathews, J.P., and Carr-Chellman, A. (2009). Undergraduate Students’ Self-Regulated Learning Experience in Web-Based Learning Environment. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 10(2), 109-121.

Ice, P., Gibson, A. M., Boston, W. and Becker, D. (2011). An Exploration of Differences Between Community of Inquiry Indicators in Low and High Disenrollment Online Courses. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 15(2), 44-69.

Jacinto, G. A. and Hong, Y. J. (2011). Online Task Group and Social Work Education: Lesson Learned. Contemporary Rural Social Work. 3, p. 17-28

Jackson, D, Sibson, R. and Riebe, L. (2014). Undergraduate perceptions of the development of team-working skills. Education + Training Emerald, 56 (1), 7-20

Jain, P., Jain, S. and Jain, S. (2011). Interactions Among Online Learners: A Quantitative Interdisciplinary Study. Education, 131. 3. p. 538-544

Malcolm, M. (n.d). Establishing virtual working within the Business curriculum. The Higher Education Academy-Business Management and Accountancy. Retrieved from

Pietkiewicz, I. and Smith, J.A. (2014) A practical guide to using interpretative phenomenological

analysis in qualitative research psychology, Psychological Journal, 20, 7-14.

Savicki, V. and Kelley, M. (2000). Computer Mediated Communication: Gender and Group Composition. Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 3(5), 817-826.

Savicki, V., Ligenfelter, D. and Kelley, M. (1996). Gender language style and group composition in internet discussion groups. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 2(3). Retrieved from:

Smith, J. A., Flower, P. and Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis:

Theory, Method and Research. London: Sage.



How to Cite

Seck, M. M. (2019). Online Teaching and Learning of Transferable Skills Through Task Group Practice Online Teaching and Learning of Transferable Skills Through Task Group Practice. Groupwork, 27(3), 69-86.