This TIP will illustrate the dynamics and implications of group learning in higher education.
Guidelines for Small Group Teaching
- Keep the learning process moving.
- Probe students' knowledge.
- Avoid expressing an opinion concerning the correctness or quality of any student's comments or contributions.
- Avoid giving students information that they can and should obtain elsewhere.
- Make sure that all students contribute to the group's discussion.
- Prevent discussions from being directed toward the group facilitator.
- Keep the level of the discussion questions somewhere between boredom and hopelessly over-challenging, starting at the simplest, most widely known and progressing toward the more difficult, less widely known.
- Recognize potential interpersonal problems in the group and intervene, if necessary, to maintain an effective group process in which all members contribute.
- Continually monitor the progress of each student in the group
NOTE: Content is adapted from Small Group Teaching.
Whilst you watch the video, consider the following questions:
- What do students find most beneficial about work group activities and assignments?
- What do students find most difficult about the work groups? How would you deal with those challenges in your tutorial?
- What strategies are generally used in assigning students to groups? List the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
- What approaches could you try for assessing students participation in groups?
- What would be the advantages or disadvantages from grouping students by achievement, friendship, self-selection, language proficiency or by random?