Thematic review of approaches to design group learning activities in higher education: The development of a comprehensive framework

Miranda de Hei*, Jan Willem Strijbos, Ellen Sjoer, Wilfried Admiraal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Group Learning Activities (GLAs) are a key ingredient of course designs in higher education. Various approaches for designing GLAs have been developed, featuring different design components. However, this has not yet resulted in clear guidelines for teachers on how to design GLAs. The purpose of this thematic review is to synthesize insights from various approaches for designing GLAs into one comprehensive framework. This comprehensive framework, the Group Learning Activities Instructional Design (GLAID) framework, includes eight components: (1) interaction, (2) learning objectives and outcomes, (3) assessment, (4) task characteristics, (5) structuring, (6) guidance, (7) group constellation, and (8) facilities. Each component, associated design decisions, and the corresponding design process are described. The GLAID framework aims to guide teachers in higher education in designing, implementing, and evaluating GLAs in their courses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Research Review
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Collaborative learning
  • Group learning activities
  • Higher education
  • Instructional design
  • Thematic review

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