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Supporting Effective Teaching Experiences with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Grouping Students For Projects

What considerations do you make when you want to divide the class into groups to work on an outside project?  Is your approach different when the groups are working together during the class time?

Click on the images below to see video of the teacher's comments.

Philip Gelsomino II
Visiting Lecturer - SCB
Photo of Philip Gelsomino III don't assign groups, I let everyone decide who they want to work with. I treat everyone the same. It doesn't make any difference to me if there's someone who has a disability service agreement, somebody is hard of hearing, you work with whoever you want to work with, we all work together. So I don't do anything special, I say work with anybody and everybody you want because you're going to have to do that in the professional world. You don't get to pick who you're working with so you figure it out.

Laura Dwyer
Senior Lecturer - SCB
Photo of Laura DwyerI do not make considerations of whether a student is deaf or a hearing student I divide the classroom randomly every time. If I have a number of deaf students in the class and I don't have enough interpreting resources I might take a second look at that and ask the deaf students if they're interesting in being together on a team or I might go to the NTID support folks and ask them if I can have an additional resource for the classroom for a team project whatever. But I do not usually make allowances for deaf versus hearing students in team make up.

Scott Franklin
Physics Professor - COS
Photo of Scott FranklinIt depends a lot on is this the first time they've been grouped together, or where we are in the semester or what is the content of. So we initially very often if there are multiple deaf students, early in the semester you may want to group them together to allow them the comfort and the communication, the ability to communicate effortlessly with at least one other member in their group. And then over time I think you can branch out and mix and match groups a little more in more diverse ways.

Sandra Connelly
Instructional Professor - COS
Photo of Sandra ConnellyWe chose to kind of let it flow naturally and where the students sit and group together is great, if they don't like their seat in the first week they are free to move wherever they would like in the room until they find a comfortable spot. Some of our deaf and hard of hearing students choose to work together, they want to be able to sign, they want to be able to communicate quickly with each other, and not feel like they are missing out on side conversations that often occur with the hearing students. But we also have a large number of them anymore that are coming in without any signing skills so actually working with a hearing group they are much more adapt to that, they're thinking about using an interpreter or writing or finding a different way to communicate in those groups so we encourage them to sit where they're comfortable.